6 Degrees of Separation: We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves
You’ve probably heard the theory about ‘six degrees of separation’, the idea that we can find a connection to anybody else in the world in six steps or less. Now, writers Annabel Smith and Emma Chapman have created a literary version, where they provide a book title, and then link that to to six other books in any way it suits them. Since I’ve been enjoying the connections they come up with each month, I’ve decided to join them.
This month, Annabel and Emma have chosen We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler as the starting point. Although I have not yet read the book, I do know it was shortlisted for the 2014 Man Booker Prize, and is about Rosemary, whose brother and sister have both vanished from her life.
The Light Between Oceans by M L Stedman is another award-winning book I haven’t read, but have been waiting all year to do so, as it’s my book club pick this month.
When I discovered that The Light Between Oceans was set on a remote lighthouse keeper’s island, I thought of Lighthouse Girl, a picture book by Dianne Wolfer. This book is based on the true story of Faye Howe, whose father was a lighthouse keeper at the outbreak of the First World War.
Breaksea Island, where Faye lives, is situated just off Albany on Western Australia’s south coast. Tim Winton’s fictional town of Angelus, the setting of his Lockie Leonard series, is apparently based on the same town.
Twelve year old Lockie Leonard is new in town, on the cusp of adolescence and trying to fit in, as is the main character of Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret by Judy Blume. I loved Judy Blume’s books when I was growing up, and now want to re-read this one to see whether it has stood the test of time.
Another book with God in the title is The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy. Two of the characters are fraternal twins Esthappen and Rahel, which immediately reminded me of another book about twins, Whiskey, Charlie, Foxtrot by none other than Annabel Smith, one of the designers of this bookish meme. Charlie can’t even stand talking to his brother until a freak accident means he may lose him forever. Currently published in Australia, it will soon be released in the US under the title Whisky & Charlie.
So there you have it. From a book I haven’t read about disappearing siblings, to a book I have read (and enjoyed) that also explores sibling relationships. Perhaps I didn’t need the whole six degrees after all. If you would like to participate, here are the guidelines. I’d love to hear where your Six Degrees of Separation led you. And be sure to check out where it led Annabel Smith and Emma Chapman.