6 Degrees of Separation: From The Snow Child to The Glass House
Welcome back to Six Degrees of Separation, where bookish types all begin with the same book title and link it to six others in any way their minds decide to make connections.
This month’s starting point is The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey.
Set in Alaska during the 1920s, it is apparently based on a Russian fairy tale called Snegurochka – which is about a childless couple who build a girl out of snow; she then comes to life. One of the English translations is Little Daughter of the Snow by Arthur Ransome, which plays a role in Ivey’s novel.
Another novel that includes references to other books is The Last Bookshop by Emma Young. Set in modern day Australia, this is a story in which a bookshop owner must fight to save her store and in doing so discovers what real community is.
Similarly titled, but set in a different time, The Last Bookshop in London by Madeline Martin is about a young girl who starts working in a bookshop at the beginning of the Second World War.
Also set during the Second World War is A Stranger in My Street by Deborah Burrows, which is part history, part mystery, and more than a dash of romance. It was in reading the dedication of this novel that I discovered that the author’s mother was a war widow.
This particularly jumped out at me because at the time I was reading A Stranger in My Street, I was in the middle of researching the stories of war widows for my own book Many Hearts One Voice. (I wouldn’t normally include my own book, but it provided too perfect a connection between A Stranger in My Street and the next title.)
After my book was published, I was both delighted and terrified to be invited to appear at the Perth Writers’ Festival on a panel with several other authors, including Liz Byrski. She immediately made me feel at ease, and I have never forgotten her warmth and welcome. Her most recent novel, At the End of the Day, revolves around the lives of Mim Squires and Mathias Vander, both in their late 70s, who meet while stranded together on a disrupted flight home.
Brooke Dunnell’s debut novel The Glass House also touches on aging, although this is told from the perspective of the daughter of a man who is struggling to continue living in his own home.
This month, I began with a transformed fairy tale, before weaving between the past and the present, between the northern and southern hemispheres, and between the young and not so young.
Over to You
Where will six degrees take you?
If you’d like to see where it took other bookish types, then head over to booksaremyfavouriteandbest.
And start thinking about your chain for next month, the first of 2023, which will start with Beach Read by Emily Henry.