March 7, 2020
#6Degrees of Separation: From Wolfe Island to…
*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.
#6Degrees of Separation: from Wolfe Island by Lucy Treloar to The Girl With the Louding Voice by Abi Daré.
#6Degrees is a monthly link-up hosted by Kate at Books Are My Favourite and Best. I’ve seen this meme around for a while and a recent post by Davida at The Chocolate Lady’s Book Review Blog inspired me to give it a try this year! Making connections between books is challenging, creative, and fun!
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 your post on Twitter using the #6Degrees hash tag.
- Be nice! Visit and comment on other posts and/or retweet other #6Degrees posts.
This month’s prompt starts with Wolfe Island by Lucy Treloar …
Wolfe Island by Lucy Treloar is a book I have not heard about, but it sounds like one I might be interested in adding to my TBR.
Amazon Summary: “For years Kitty Hawke has lived alone on Wolfe Island, witness to the island’s erosion and clinging to the ghosts of her past. Her work as a sculptor and her wolfdog Girl are enough. News of mainland turmoil is as distant as myth until refugees from that world arrive: her granddaughter Cat, and Luis and Alejandra, a brother and sister escaping persecution. When threats from the mainland draw closer, they are forced to flee for their lives. They travel north through winter, a journey during which Kitty must decide what she will do to protect the people she loves.
Part western, part lament for a disappearing world, Wolfe Island (set off the northeast coast of the US) is a transporting novel that explores connection and isolation and the ways lives and families shatter and are remade.”
First Degree. From the summary, the remote and isolated island location in the northeast coast of the U.S. immediately reminds me of the remote island (also located along the northeast coast of the U>S.) in The Scent Keeper by Erica Bauermeister.
My Summary: Emmeline lives on a small isolated and remote island with her father. They function as survivalists by foraging and growing their own food. Even though Emmeline and her father are isolated, the father has a contact who arrives by boat and occasionally delivers items that can’t be acquired on the island. Emmeline’s father teaches her about the natural world through her senses. Emmeline’s world is filled with love and security and it’s all she knows. Her father also has a mysterious machine that creates or captures scents (similar to a Polaroid camera), and he has scents stored in drawers that line the walls of their cabin. Although she’s curious about the scents, her father doesn’t offer a great deal of explanation. One day, Emmeline is forced out into the real world beyond the sanctuary of her island. She sets out on a quest to understand the life her father created for them, her father’s reasons, and the secrets he safeguarded. My Review.
Second Degree: Although not as remote, the atmospheric setting and a young girl on her own reminds me of the southern swamp setting in Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. In both survival stories, young girls are left to fend for themselves.
My Summary: Living in the marsh outside a quiet, small town on the coast of North Carolina, Kya Clark, later known as the “Marsh Girl,” is abandoned by her entire family and learns to survive in the marsh on her own from the age of ten. One by one her older siblings abandon the family, her mother leaves when Kya is about seven, and finally her father, a difficult, unreliable, and drunk man, leaves when she’s ten. Kya attends school for one day after a truant officer catches her. On that day, she is teased by the students, knows she’s hopelessly behind academically, and never returns. Preferring the isolation and safety of the marsh, she learns what she can through observing nature. Although she can survive on her own, she begins to long for companionship as she reaches her teen years. Two boys from town attract her attention. One of them turns up dead, and she is suspected of murder. The other becomes a life long supporter and friend. A coming of age story with a fair share of tragedy, mystery, and grit, this is an unforgettable read you’ll want to devour and recommend. My Review.
Third Degree: Connecting to these strong themes of isolation and survival, I’m reminded of The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah. This young girl is not on an island and is not on her own, but the family is isolated in Alaska and the young girl is faced with physical as well as emotional survival.
My Summary: The Great Alone is a story about a dysfunctional family that eventually moves to the harsh wilderness of Alaska to make a fresh start. In this page turner by Kristin Hannah (author of the Nightingale), thirteen-year-old Leni watches her gentle and artistic mother struggle to live a happy and secure life with her father, a Vietnam War vet, who suffers from PTSD. A survivalist, her father becomes more paranoid and controlling as the story progresses. ***trigger warnings for emotional and physical abuse*** Leni, struggling to stay in school and walking on egg shells around her father, is also concerned about her mother and about their general well-being as the dark winter and isolation of the Alaskan wilderness cause her father’s symptoms to worsen. The first part of the story is slower paced and devoted to establishing a sense of place, character development, and a slow build up of the problem. The last part of the story unfolds at a rapid pace and there are attempts to escape and confrontations. Some have commented that the ending is tied together easily, quickly, and conveniently. This didn’t bother me too much because rapid emotional plot twists are Kristin Hannah’s style and part of me was eager and relieved to have closure to Leni’s story. If you’re looking for an engaging page turner with an Alaskan wilderness setting, this is a good selection to meet that criteria. My Review.
Fourth Degree: A girl traveling with family and surviving in isolated areas reminds me of Where the Lost Wander by Amy Harmon. (pub date: 4/25/2020)
My Summary: In 1853, newly widowed Naomi May sets out for the West with her family. On the Oregon Trail which is filled with hardship, danger, and loss, she meets John Lowry. As the journey progresses and becomes more harrowing, they grow closer but their relationship is tested in intense and emotional ways. (review will be posted on 4/25/20)
Fifth Degree: The themes of a a girl’s survival while traveling through unfamiliar and hostile southwest territory in Where the Lost Wander reminds me of similar themes, strong sense of place, and travel through Indian territory in News of the World by Paulette Jiles.
My Summary: In the years following the Civil War, Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd travels through northern Texas, giving readings from newspapers (in exchange for ten cents) for those who are eager for news of the world. One day, the wise and experienced Captain is offered a $50 gold piece to deliver a young orphan to her relatives in San Antonio. Years ago a band of Kiowa raiders killed Johanna’s parents and sister and captured the girl when she was small to raise as one of their own. The U.S. Army has rescued the now ten-year-old and wants to return her to relatives. Johanna doesn’t know English and is traumatized by being taken from the only home she’s ever known. The 400 mile journey through the unsettled southwest territory is dangerous and Johanna tries to escape from the Captain at every opportunity. Eventually they begin to trust each other and form a strong bond. My very brief review is included in this post.
Sixth Degree: The themes of being torn from your home reminds me of The Girl With the Louding Voice by Abi Daré.
My Summary: Life for a girl is not easy in Nigeria. Adunni’s mom plants the thought of having a “voice” in her spirit. Fourteen-year-old Adunni is determined to fight for her voice to be heard and for her future despite being sold as a third wife. Even when she runs away, she finds herself in another powerless position of servitude. Adunni is introduced to a more modern woman who befriends her and encourages her to keep hope alive and to think of herself as important and having value. My Review.
I hope you enjoyed this #6Degrees of Separation chain from Wolfe Island to The Girl With the Louding Voice. Even though I haven’t read Wolfe Island, the most striking threads that connect the stories in this chain are the remarkable and memorable young female characters, the isolation, and survival. I have read each of the last six in the chain and can highly recommend each one! (reviews are linked)
If you have a March #6Degrees of Separation post, please leave a link in the comments!
My next #6Degrees post is scheduled for April 4, 2020. We’ll begin with Anna Funder’s ‘classic on tyranny and resistance’ – Stasiland.
Do you have ideas for creating your own chain?
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