Six Degrees of Separation – from Wild to The Heart Broke In


It’s time again for my favourite meme. Based on the concept of six degrees of separation, Emma Chapman and Annabel Smith have created #6DEGREES, where bloggers share links between books in six moves. Check out the rules if you want to play along.

I haven’t read this month’s starting point – Wild by Cheryl Strayed – but I do know that Strayed penned the memoir after her mother’s death and her failed marriage prompted an epic hike along the US Pacific coast.

My first link is to Academy Street by Mary Costello. Like Strayed, the main character in Academy Street is heavily impacted by the death of her mother.

Academy Street is the story of an Irish woman living in New York which brings to mind Frank McCourt’s memoir of his Irish/American childhood, Angela’s Ashes.

I read Angela’s Ashes many years ago but I still recall the last line of the book. Some lines are particularly memorable – such as the first line of the book that I’m currently reading – “Anna was a good wife, mostly.” If that doesn’t make you want to read Hausfrau by Jill Alexander Essbaum, then I can’t imagine what would hook you.

Hausfrau is set in Switzerland, which reminds me of Stefan Zweig’s stunning novel, The Post Office Girl (there are also some nice American/ Swiss parallels between the books).

The main character in The Post Office Girl holidays at a Swiss resort, as does Daisy in Henry James’s novella, Daisy Miller.

Daisy dies from ‘Roman fever’ (malaria), which is central to James Meek’s ‘moral thriller’, The Heart Broke In, and the final link in my chain.

From a healing hike to heartache in New York, discontentment in Switzerland and mosquitoes… Looking forward to the next chain (The Rosie Project).


14 responses

  1. Reading WILD at the moment. Enjoying it very much, and said to my husband ‘If I was twenty years younger, this would make me want to do something similar.’ ‘Really?’ he said. There’s something about it. Not sure I’ll see the movie though. Suspect it would spoil the reading experience.

  2. I really enjoyed Angela’s Ashes but was bitterly disappointed by its sequel.

    Great selection, I really must seek out a copy of The Heart Broke In.

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