What a world

Abby, one of the characters in Anne Tyler’s book A Spool of Blue Thread, remembers that the wicked witch in “The Wizard of Oz,” said, “I’m melting! Melting! Oh, what a world, what a world.”

Abby is the mother of four, the collector of “orphans.” Her orphans, who frequently show up at holiday dinners, are those people who don’t have families or friends or anywhere to go for Thanksgiving dinner. Abby is always helpful. Sometimes so helpful that she’s accused of meddling in other people’s lives.

Abby even has sympathy for the wicked witch. “All at once I started feeling sorry for (the witch)….I really believe that most people who seem scary are just sad,” she says.

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