It is the first Saturday, so it is time for 6 Degrees of Separation, hosted by Books Are My Favourite and Best!
Books can be linked in obvious ways – for example, books by the same authors, from the same era or genre, or books with similar themes or settings. Or, you may choose to link them in more personal ways: books you read on the same holiday, books given to you by a particular friend, books that remind you of a particular time in your life, or books you read for an online challenge.
A book doesn’t need to be connected to all the other books on the list, only to the ones next to them in the chain.
This month’s starting book is The Bass Rock: A Novel by Evie Wyld which I have not read. According to Amazon:
WINNER OF THE STELLA PRIZE
The lives of three women weave together across centuries in this dazzling new novel.
Sarah, accused of being a witch, is fleeing for her life.
Ruth, in the aftermath of World War II, is navigating a new marriage and the strange waters of the local community.
Six decades later, Viv, still mourning the death of her father, is cataloging Ruth’s belongings in Ruth’s now-empty house.
As each woman’s story unfolds, it becomes increasingly clear that their choices are circumscribed, in ways big and small, by the men who seek to control them. But in sisterhood there is also the possibility of survival and a new way of life. Intricately crafted and compulsively readable, The Bass Rock burns bright with love and fury—a devastating indictment of violence against women and an empowering portrait of their resilience through the ages.
I don’t really plan to read the book, but no matter! Here is my chain.
The first book that popped into mind was Outlander--that massive time-traveling, sex-whether-consensual-or-not-everywhere book that elicits either love or hate, but not many are lukewarm about it. Sarah’s story–fleeing for her life and being thought a witch just seemed to fit with the time-travel part of the story in Outlander. The men aren’t all that great in this book, and the NY Times review points out the men aren’t great in The Bass Rock, either.
All those Castles of Scotland and Sarah fleeing for her life reminded me of another band of women and children fleeing for their lives–away from the depravity of the Red Army at the close of World War II in Eastern Germany. The Women in the Castle: A Novel by Jessica Shattuck.
Ruth’s story brought to mind Wartime Sisters by Lynda Cohen Loigman–a book I didn’t bother to finish a few months back. It wasn’t terrible, just met too many of my historical fiction pet peeves.
Another book about sisters in World War II (and one that is 1000% better) is The Nightingale: A Novel by Kristin Hannah.
Viv’s story brought me to Mum & Dad by Joanna Trollope. Although the parents are both alive in this one, the book leaped into my mind crashing with Outlander.
Viv’s story as well as Mum & Dad brought me to another story of family and caring, Hill Women by Cassie Chambers–the sole nonfiction title in the chain.
July’s 6 Degrees Starting Book
Next month (July 3, 2021), we’ll start with a nonfiction modern classic, Eats, Shoots & Leaves by Lynne Truss.