From “The Snow Child” by Eowyn Ivey to “The Summer Country” by Lauren Willig.
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 “book” by author!
This month (December 3, 2022), the chain begins with “The Snow Child” by Eowyn Ivey. Once again, this is a book I haven’t read, and in fact, I haven’t even heard of it, but now I see it was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2012! So, what is it about? According to the blurb I found on Book Depository “Alaska, 1920: a brutal place to homestead, and especially tough for recent arrivals Jack and Mabel. Childless, they are drifting apart–he breaking under the weight of the work of the farm; she crumbling from loneliness and despair. In a moment of levity during the season’s first snowfall, they build a child out of snow. The next morning the snow child is gone–but they glimpse a young, blonde-haired girl running through the trees. This little girl, who calls herself Faina, seems to be a child of the woods. She hunts with a red fox at her side, skims lightly across the snow, and somehow survives alone in the Alaskan wilderness. As Jack and Mabel struggle to understand this child who could have stepped from the pages of a fairy tale, they come to love her as their own daughter. But in this beautiful, violent place things are rarely as they appear, and what they eventually learn about Faina will transform all of them.” Well then… off we go!
Obviously, when starting with a book you don’t know, the easiest link is to one with a word in the title or name of the author. Since the latter is practically impossible, I’ll go with the former to “Salt the Snow” by Carrie Callaghan. This is a fascinating novel that takes place in post-revolution Soviet Russia, and our protagonist here is based on the real-life woman Mildred Jacqueline Bremler, known here is Millie Bennett, and she’s often believed to be the first female war correspondent. As my usual readers know, I’m a sucker for a biographical historical fiction work about a woman that we know little to nothing about. That’s why I loved this book.
When you salt the snow, the snow melts, so the next book in the chain really has to be “Melting the Snow on Hester Street” by Daisy Waugh. Now, when I read this book, I really was of two minds. On the one hand, I really liked Waugh’s writing style, but on the other hand, OMG the mistakes she made about Jews and Jewish things were just horrendous. In fact, my original review unabashedly pointed out several of them. Then I got an email from Daisy herself! She was upset, but she said that she’d talk to her editor and fix all the mistakes for the paperback version. She then asked me if I could revise my review, to be more general about the mistakes and note that if those kinds of things bothered other readers, they should wait for the revised version! I did that, as you’ll see if you look at my review.
We go from a street to a road, in this next link, with “Redhead by the Side of the Road” by Anne Tyler. This is one of Tyler’s shorter works, and while I enjoyed it very much, it isn’t my favorite. It does, however, contain the usual strangely quirky characters that Tyler loves to write about, which is always interesting. I know, some people might get bored by her own trope, but I have found that Tyler is very creative in finding new quirks for each of her casts of characters. For example, in this one, the main protagonist likes to go running (or jogging) each morning, and when he does, he always passes by this fire hydrant which, through his blurry vision, looks to him like a redheaded baby squatting on the street. Now, I’m not sure how one could mistake a fire hydrant for a person, but hey, that’s Tyler!
I was doing so well with connecting the words in the title, that I forgot that I already used my other book with redhead in the title for a different chain. So, how about just red? That brings me to “The Red House Mystery” by A.A. Milne. I actually reviewed this together with a short story by P.D. James, because both these well known authors wrote these books that seemed out of their popular genres. I mean, did we even know that the writer of the lovely, sweet, charming Winnie the Pooh books also wrote a murder mystery book? I didn’t until I found this novella to my surprise. I also bought a copy of the play he wrote, but I haven’t gotten around to reading it yet (partly because my copy’s print is VERY small, and I’m not sure I know how to review a play).
I think I can keep this chain consistent with “A House in the Country” by Ruth Adam. This is one of those totally lovely, and charming books re-released by Dean Street Press. I’d never heard of Ruth Adam before they sent this book to me, and much like has happened with many of the authors DSP has introduced me to, I’ve longed to find more of her books to read. Sadly, I think DSP has started to find the well of adorable female writers of the past running dry, and the last two books they sent me, I’m not totally keen on reading (I think one of them is a crime novel, and the other one has something to do with Elvis Presley). Still, I might give them a try, just because… why not, right? I should try to stay in their good graces just in case they suddenly find a new trove of writers whose works need to be rediscovered!
That leaves me with the word country, which brings me to “The Summer Country” by Lauren Willig. This was the first solo book by Willig I read, after having read her collaboration novels with Beatriz Williams and Lauren White (aka Team-W). I was very pleased with this one, and thrilled that I was taken away to Barbados for this novel. Mind you, I’m not sure I want to visit somewhere that seems so hot and sticky, but that’s why we read fiction, right? It is a way to travel the world without having to pack a bag, while we enjoy the new vistas from the comforts of home. Furthermore, this novel is set in the 19th century, and I often feel like that era is probably rich with untold stories, and sadly neglected in favor of one or both of the world wars. This isn’t an easy book to read, with a complex plot, but it is worth trying it out.