From “Wolfe Island” by Lucy Treloar to “Beantown Girls” by Jane Healey.
This is a monthly link-up hosted by Kate at Books Are My Favourite and Best. Each month a book is chosen as a starting point and linked to six other books to form a chain. A book doesn’t need to be connected to all the other books on the list, only to the one next to it in the chain. The rules are:
- Link the books together in any way you like.
- Provide a link in your post to the meme at Books are My Favourite and Best.
- Share these rules in your post.
- Paste the link to your post in the comments on Kate’s post and/or the Linky Tool on that post.
- Invite your blog readers to join in and paste their links in the comments and/or the Linky Tool.
- Share you post on Twitter using the #6Degrees hash tag.
- Be nice! Visit and comment on other posts and/or retweet other #6Degrees posts.
THANKS FOR PLAYING!
This month we start with “Wolfe Island” by Nancy Treloar!
Our starting book – “Wolfe Island” by Lucy Trelor – is yet again one I haven’t read. According to the publisher’s website, “Kitty Hawke, the last inhabitant of a dying island sinking into the wind-lashed Chesapeake Bay, has resigned herself to annihilation… Until one night her granddaughter blows ashore in the midst of a storm, desperate, begging for sanctuary. For years, Kitty has kept herself to herself – with only the company of her wolfdog, Girl – unconcerned by the world outside, or perhaps avoiding its worst excesses. But blood cannot be turned away in times like these. And when trouble comes following her granddaughter, no one is more surprised than Kitty to find she will fight to save her as fiercely as her name suggests…” Well, this certainly sounds interesting, and I would like to read more Australian authors, but it does sound like a psychological thriller, which isn’t really my thing, so I will put this one as down as a “maybe.”
First Degree. The first thing that came to mind when I read the name of the protagonist in Trelor’s book was the Wright Brothers and the name of the place where they did their first controlled airplane flight – Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. That got me thinking – what about air travel? If that’s appropriate, then what better link to that book than “Catch-22” by Joseph Heller, where the main character, Yossarian, is a bombardier in the US Air Force during World War II. My regular readers will recall that this is the only book that I’ve read more than once (I’ve read it three times so far, and am contemplating reading it a fourth time because the TV series was good, but it wasn’t the book, if you know what I mean), and that makes it also one of my all-time favorites. Poor Yossarian! All he wants to do is complete his required number of flights so he can get out of the war, and they keep upping the number.
Second Degree. Bombardiers during WWII took me directly to “The Huntress” by Kate Quinn. In this novel, Quinn’s character Nina, learns to fly a plane and then later becomes one of the women in Russia’s air combat units which gained the nickname of “The Night Witches” because their air raids on the Nazis always took place at night, and they were almost magically effective. I totally adored this book, and I loved the character of Nina even more! I even went so far as to hint to Quinn that she should write a sequel to this novel in which Nina is fully the main character and not just one of the group of protagonists, essential as she might have been. I really wanted to know what happened to Nina after that book ended. Who knows, maybe some day Quinn might revisit Nina (here’s hoping).
Third Degree. With this, I’m thinking that I’m on a roll with modes of transportation that connect with wars (although as I was writing this, I wasn’t sure I could take both of them through all six degrees). However, I certainly have the next one, and it also has to do with air travel. I’m talking about my (so far) favorite novel by Ariel Lawhon novel, “Flight of Dreams” which is about the flight of the Hindenburg. Now, granted, that was a dirigible (zeppelin) and not an airplane per se, but I think it connects here because this hydrogen filled aircraft was developed by Germany, and zeppelins were used during both World Wars. Even if this one didn’t connect to a specific war, this flight certainly happened under Nazi controlled Germany, and war was on the way. Lawhon’s novel is, I believe, one of the finest examples of historical fiction I’ve ever read (although her other books are equally wonderful), and I recommend it to anyone who wants to read something in that genre.
Forth Degree. If we stick to the modes of transportation theme, and continue to combine that with war, I realized that I don’t have to stick with air travel. That was what brought me to the novel “The Glass Ocean” by Beatriz Williams, Lauren Willig, and Karen White – aka Team-W. This was their second collaboration (I have yet to read the first, but I did read the third), and it revolves around three women and the sinking of the Lusitania. Of course, how the torpedoing of this luxury ocean liner connects to war is obvious – it was one of the reasons that got America into WWI, so those two connect perfectly. By the way, although this is also women’s fiction, my husband adored this book and immediately after reading it, went on to read their last collaborative book “All the Ways We Said Goodbye“. Because he read them one right after the other, he reminded me that there were connections of characters in this book that appeared in their last one!
Fifth Degree. So far, we’ve been in the air and on the sea, but we haven’t yet had any thing on the land or ground travel. When I thought of that combined with war, I knew what the last two links in this chain would be (and I realized I could sustain this for the whole chain!). I’m going to start with the first World War and then go onto the second. That means this next book is “Mercy Road” by Ann Howard Creel. This book is about a woman who ends up driving an ambulance in France during WWI, not so only out of patriotic duty (although there is that), but also because she’s offered a bonus if she can stick it out to the end of the war, and she desperately needs that money to revive her family’s horse breeding business (look – I slipped in yet another mode of transportation – horseback riding)!
Sixth Degree. The final link belongs to “Beantown Girls” by Jane Healey. In this lovely novel, Healey tells the story of women who drove coffee and doughnut trucks to comfort soldiers during WWII. This book connects very well with the previous one because part of the reason why the main character Fiona decides to volunteer for this job is because she’s hoping that she’ll get to France where she might find out what happened to her fiancé, who was reported missing in action in Germany. There’s a whole lot to love about this novel and it was among my favorites of 2019. Mind you, I have to admit that I avoided reading this book because I wasn’t thrilled with the cover art. I’m sorry but the girls don’t really look late-1930s early-1940s enough for my taste, but it is what’s inside that matters, and I’m glad I read it.
So, there you have it – a chain of books that all have to do with modes of transportation and war. So… does “Beantown Girls” connect back to “Wolfe Island” in any way? This time, I’m afraid I can’t see the connection. I guess the tangent I took from the name of the main character towards modes of transportation and war took me away from that starting point altogether. If you can connect them, then as they say, “you’re a better man than I am, Gunga Din!”
If you don’t know any of these books, I hope you’ll click on the links to my reviews and check them out!
If you decide to join in on this meme, I hope you’ll give me the link to your post in the comments below, as well as on the linky page that Kate has on her blog for this meme.
Next month (April 4, 2020), we will start with Anna Funder’s ‘classic on tyranny and resistance’ – Stasiland.