"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Sunday, January 6, 2019

SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION – FROM THE FRENCH LIEUTENANT’S WOMAN TO...

SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION...THE FRENCH LIEUTENANT’S WOMAN

Six Degrees of Separation. 
We begin with
The French Lieutenant's Woman by John Fowles
I read it a long time ago but I seem to recall that the story has two endings, one happy, one not so happy.
Atonement by Ian McEwan 
This book also has two endings one is more imaginary or wishful, the other is the upsetting truth. After finishing the book, I desperately wanted to talk to someone who had also read the book.
A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley
This was another book I really wanted to discuss with others when I was finished reading it. I never did find that person. Sigh. But I have come to understand that it is a modern retelling of Shakespeare's King Lear.
The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski
This book is another modern retelling of a Shakespeare play: Hamlet. So, of course, there is an awful step-parent as one of the characters. We read this book in one of my book clubs.
The Leavers by Lisa Ko
Another book club selection that involves step or adoptive parents. It also involves undocumented immigrants to the USA.
Tortilla Curtain by T.C. Boyle
The juxtaposition between undocumented immigrants and the Americans they work for is very stark in this book. With the immigrants being treated unfairly and unkindly by their employers.
The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver
Includes a portion where the young rescued girl, Turtle, is adopted by a woman with the help of some "illegal aliens." These people help Turtle and her new mom even though they are reviled by others in the community.

The French Lieutenant's Woman by John Fowles
Which brings us back to the beginning. One of the main characters of the story, Sarah Woodruff, is reviled by her community for being abandoned by the French Lieutenant and being a single woman is a world dominated by men and their rules.


I had no idea when I started this list that I would end here. Interestingly, with the exception of The Leavers, I read all the books on the list over ten years ago, though I did reread The French Lieutenant's Woman recently.
Join in the fun. Make your own Six Degrees of Separation list.

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13 comments:

  1. Fascinating list! I’ve only read a few of the books you connect.

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  2. Brilliant list! Bonus points for getting it to loop back around!

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  3. I love that you managed to bring it back round. I'll add the Edgar Sawtelle to my wishlist - I love retellings of Shakespeare etc

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    1. Sawtelle is long, but then so is Hamlet. I ended up loving the book but had a hard time talking anyone into reading it because of the length.

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  4. Lovely to see The Bean Trees in your links. It's one of my favourite Kingsolvers, much overshadowed since The Poisonwood Bible, though.

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    1. I read Bean Trees and Pigs in Heaven out of order, but loved them both. I don't find myself rereading Kingsolver, for some reason so I have to just remind myself how I felt when I was reading the books.

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  5. This is a brilliant chain - I’ll be adding most of the books to my TBR list! My most recently read book that was a retelling of Shakespeare was Nutshell by Ian McKewan (another Hamlet). When done well, they make for a fascinating read.

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    1. Thank you. I am not a big reader of Shakespeare that is why I needed help to understand A Thousand Acres. King Lear didn't jump out at me.

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  6. That's a great chain - I like the way you brought it full circle at the end. Apart from The French Lieutenant's Woman, I haven't read any of those books but I would like to read A Thousand Acres as I've enjoyed some of Jane Smiley's others.

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    1. I like Jane Smiley, too, though A Thousand Acres isn't exactly a feel good book.

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  7. I could have talked 1000 Acres with you; I remember enjoying it very much when I read it many, many years ago. Wonderful chain of books and you managed to include Bean Trees, another favorite when I read it so long ago.

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    1. I read A thousand Acres so long ago I have almost completely forgotten the plot but I know it wasn't pleasant what happened to the daughters.

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  8. I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with retellings of Shakespeare. Some work brilliantly, and others not so well...

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