Six Degrees of Separation – from Trust to Childless

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 Trust by Hernan Diaz.

Trust is set in the 1920s and focuses on a wealthy and influential family. The last novel I read set in the twenties, also about powerful people, was Kate Atkinson’s (bitterly disappointing) Shrines of Gaiety.

In Shrines, the character of Nellie Coker, is based on the real life twenties Nightclub Queen, Kate Meyrick, who is also the inspiration for the character of Ma Mayfield in Evelyn Waugh’s novel, Brideshead Revisited.

Brideshead is the story of a homosexual affair, famously set amongst the British upper classes, as is E.M. Forster’s Maurice.

Maurice was published posthumously, as was Paul Kalanithi’s incredible memoir, When Breath Becomes Air (no other link between these two books other than I’ve read them both, and Kalanithi’s was the first posthumously published book that popped to mind!).

When Breath Becomes Air is in the minuscule bunch of grief memoirs that I would unreservedly recommend – another is Found, Wanting by Natasha Sholl.

I heard Sholl speak about her book at last year’s Melbourne Writers Festival. On the same panel was Sian Prior, discussing her memoir, Childless.

From the 1920s to memoirs – where will other chains go? Link up below or post your link in the comments section.

Next month (March 4, 2023), we’ll start with a book that was a best-selling self-help title in the seventies – Passages by Gail Sheehy.


30 responses

    • In the past I never read much from the self-help shelf, however, I’ll occasionally pick one up now if it’s related to my work, or if a client mentions that they found a particular book useful.

  1. You know, I don’t think I ever thought of Brideshead as being about a homosexual relationship, but about as close to one as you could get without any real sex. Marvelous chain, as usual. (Hm… next month… hm… that’s going to be hard for me to link up with!)

  2. I found Shrines of Gaiety deeply disappointing too! I haven’t heard of Passages before. I have read a few self-help books many years ago – I don’t think they were much help!

  3. Here is my chain:

    Kate, I had read all of these until you got to Found, Wanting & Childless. I also was disappointed in Shrines of Gaiety. I didn’t dislike it but I was expecting more. I have decided I love the Jackson Brodie books much better than her fiction.

    Not everyone in my book group liked Trust, and those who did not read the dust jacket were puzzled. But I am loving this month’s book – Horse by Geraldine Brooks, with an Australian heroine, no less.

  4. Pingback: 6 Degrees of Separation: From Trust to The School Teacher of Saint-Michel | Treefall Writing

  5. Pingback: #6Degrees of Separation: February 2023 – findingtimetowrite

  6. Ah, you usually have books in your chain that I am completely unfamiliar with, but this time I know four of them (and have read three), so that’s a triumph for me! It’s always hard to start with a book you are completely unfamiliar with, so I am late to the game as always…

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