Six Degrees of Separation – from Fates and Furies to Gould’s Book of Fish


It’s time for #6Degrees and it’s a cinch to play – please join in!

This month’s chain begins with Lauren Groff’s bestseller Fates and Furies. I haven’t read it (yet) but I do know it’s a story about a marriage, told from different perspectives.

Very similar is Claire Fuller’s new novel, Swimming Lessons. In this story, Ingrid’s memories of specific events during her marriage are different from how her family and husband, Gil, remember things.

One of the things I particularly loved about Swimming Lessons was the author’s descriptions of the sea. I felt the same way about Favel Parrett’s descriptions in Past the Shallows.

Past the Shallows is the story of two boys whose father is an extremely angry man. Similar is Sofie Laguna’s The Eye of the Sheep.

Now bear with me for this next link… The Eye of the Sheep is set in the Melbourne suburb of Altona. Last year when I saw Jonathan Franzen speak about his book Purity, he mentioned that he had spent the day in Altona, bird-watching, specifically for the rare Orange-Bellied Parrot (the reason I remember the name of the bird is because when I was studying town planning {decades ago}, my lecturer would always say “Before you remove everything from the site, remember the Orange-Bellied Parrot” – we feared for the continued existence of this rarely seen species!).

Bird-watching links to The Birdman’s Wife by Melissa Ashley. It’s the story of Elizabeth Gould, artist and illustrator, who first documented Australian birds.

The drawings of William Gould (no relation to Elizabeth as far as I know) were of Australian fish, as described by Richard Flannagan in Gould’s Book of Fish.

From perspectives on marriage and descriptions of the sea to families, bird-watching and drawings (by people named Gould). Where will other chains lead?

Next month (March 4, 2017), the chain will begin with Nick Hornby’s memoir (or love letter to soccer), Fever Pitch.



30 responses

    • Inspired or dodgy?! I thought it was a little tenuous but, 25 years since sitting in lectures, I still remember the Orange-bellied Parrot, which made it even more extraordinary to hear Franzen say that it was the one thing he wanted to see in Melbourne! (for the record, apparently seeing one is a once-in-a-lifetime thing for bird-watchers).

    • I’ve been meaning to read Fates & Furies since it was released and thought that if I used it as the starting point, it would bump it up the TBR stack… I got distracted by new releases 🙁 but will get to it.

      I’ll look forward to your Fever Pitch chain (bet your mind is already going in all sorts of directions).

  1. Echoing Cleo here. So interesting to see how different readers’ minds work and what they’ve read. And thanks for reminding me of Favel Parrett. I loved When the Night Comes – Past the Shallows is now on my list.

  2. Pingback: The Six Degrees of Separation Meme: Fates and Furies – Annabookbel

    • Haven’t read a bad review of Swimming Lessons yet. There are lots of little hints and twists throughout, making it real edge-of-your-seat-in-a-gentle-way reading.

  3. Town planner to blog queen. You have straddled the career spectrum! Great post. I do now link Eye of the Sheep with Altona too.
    I’m planning to join in next month, seems like good fun.

  4. Pingback: Six Degrees of Separation – From Groff to… – FictionFan's Book Reviews

  5. Pingback: Fates and Furies // Six Degrees of Separation – Fourth Street Review

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