Six Degrees of Separation – from Beach Read to Elizabeth Finch

It’s time for #6degrees. Start at the same place as other wonderful readers, add six books, and see where you end up.

This month we begin with Beach Read by Emily Henry. I was tempted to go with books with alternate endings (because the UK and US editions of Beach Read have different endings), but instead stuck with the reason I picked it – because it’s beach reading time in Australia 🙂 So, my link is to Sunbathing by Isobel Beech.

Sunbathing is a novel about grieving (and although grief-lit isn’t usually beach reading, it is what I have been reading on the beach this week).

Another novel about grieving that also sounds beachy is Kokomo by Victoria Hannan.

In my summer reading stack I have Hannan’s second novel, Marshmallow. The story focuses on a group of friends dealing with an event that unites them.

Ceridwen Dovey’s novel, Life After Truth, is also about a group of friends bonded by a particular event.

The characters in Life After Truth are based on real people who studied at Harvard at the same time as Dovey. A similar alumni story (real-life used for fiction) is that of Donna Tartt’s time at Bennington College, so the next link is to The Secret History.

The characters in The Secret History are studying the ‘classics’, as are those in Julian Barnes’s latest novel, Elizabeth Finch.

I turned grief-lit into campus-lit. Where will other chains go? Link up below or post your link in the comments section.

Next month (February 4, 2023), we’ll start with the book that topped the most ‘Best Books of 2022’ lists – Trust by Hernan Diaz.

35 responses

  1. Great chain. I’d like to read both Victoria Hannan books so must check out availability at my local library. I’m afraid I gave up on the Ceridwen Dovey book… I’m not a massive fan of campus novels, although, like the rest of the world, I do love The Secret History!

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  3. Coincidentally, I also have a Barnes as my last link although not Elizabeth Finch. Not sure Beach Read is up my alley but you’ve made me curious about those two different endings. Enjoy your summer!

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  5. Why do books have to have different endings in different countries. It’s bad enough if they change the title but the ending??? What if you decide to read it in an international book club of which there are more and more? Well, that’s my 5 cents to that.

    Even though I don’t do beach reads, I really enjoyed this month’s Six Degrees of Separation which took me from Beach Read to Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe.

    • This seems the best way to contact you, Adrian to tell you that I’ve tried commenting on your site, but Quercus doesn’t seem to like me very much. I gave up, I’m afraid.


    The only one of yours I have read is The Secret History (which I thought was brilliant for about 80% of the book before a weak conclusion) but my book group is reading Trust this week so I am about to begin it.

    I am surprised I have not come across Life After Truth as I am the co-chair of my class’s Harvard Reunion Committee. We like parties so much we are having one later this month although our reunion was last May! Our biggest class celebrity is Dr. Oz who was in my residence hall and was perfectly nice before he got too political/mercenary but there are several others. Kate’s review does not make me want to order it and none of my libraries own it. I laughed that one of the reviews on Amazon says it is very American. Wouldn’t you expect a book set at Harvard in Cambridge, Massachusetts to be American?

  7. Oh, I love college stories! I did a whole post of them, but both of yours are new to me–that’s what I love about 6 Degrees most. I had no idea books might have different endings–not just different covers or titles. Wow!

  8. How interesting that the book has a different ending in US and UK! I haven’t read it, so am struggling to find a starting point, but of course summer is close to heart when you are experiencing it in the southern hemisphere.

    • I think the US ending is more conservative, but agree that it’s interesting having different endings for different countries (that happens frequently with book jackets and sometimes titles).

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  11. First, I need to say I am so glad to have discovered this thanks to Marelli at ElzaReads!! Second, I realized I have a total of 6 books including Beach Read while you have one more… Well, I can go back and add one more maybe .. or will do it next month with that addnl book 🙂 And last, haven’t read any of the books on your list though I have been meaning to read The Secret History for a while now..
    Have linked up in the linky!

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