Six Degrees of Separation: Our Wives Under the Sea by Julia Armfield

How the meme works

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. You can read all the rules at Books Are My Favourite and Best.

About the book

Leah is changed. A marine biologist, she left for a routine expedition months earlier, only this time her submarine sank to the sea floor. When she finally surfaces and returns home, her wife Miri knows that something is wrong. Barely eating and lost in her thoughts, Leah rotates between rooms in their apartment, running the taps morning and night. Whatever happened in that vessel, whatever it was they were supposed to be studying before they were stranded, Leah has carried part of it with her, onto dry land and into their home. As Miri searches for answers, desperate to understand what happened below the water, she must face the possibility that the woman she loves is slipping from her grasp. (from Amazon)

I had not even heard of this book, so it is obvious I haven’t read it.

Most links are to my reviews.

Book One


Unless you count the nonfiction books on Noel Coward and his long-time partner Graham Payn, the first book I LOVED about a single-sex couple like Leah/Miri in the starting book, was Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston. I LOVED it.

Book Two


A fictionalized version of a real life First Family that included (over the years) more than one same-sex relationship (including a trio living together with linen having all three monograms) was the family of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt. While Franklin could have coined the term “work wife,” Eleanor had relationships with both men and women. I love this book–it was “my” Eleanor. The best-seller, rival novel, was not “my” Eleanor at all, but was well-written. Loving Eleanor by Susan Wittig Albert

Book Three


Another book I loved with “Loving” in the title is Loving Frank by Nancy Horan, about Frank Lloyd Wright. I haven’t read it’s “twin” or “rival” novel by TC Boyle because I liked this one so much. It was my favorite book of its publication year, in fact.

Book Four


Another book with a character named Frank (why do Americans say “named” and Brits say “called”??) is M*A*S*H–the novel that spawned the movie and long-running t.v. show. Frank Burns, the idiot doctor from Ft. Wayne, Indiana who had the affair with Hot Lips! (There was actually a series of MASH books–MASH Goes to Maine, etc which are now long forgotten and out-of-print). M*A*S*H by Richard Hooker is $1.99 for Kindle right now (with a new cover–this is the original, the one it had when I read it in the ’70s).

Book Five


M*A*S*H was set in Korea (during the Korean War). Another novel partially set in Korea is Pachinko by Min Jin Lee.

Book Six


Pachinko dealt with a marginalized group of people in Japan. Another book dealing with a marginalized group of people in Japan is Sweet Bean Paste by Durian Sukegawa. What a moving book!

So, I didn’t go “full circle” this month, but I did make a chain!


Why not join the fun next month? We’ll start out chains with Peter Carey’s True History of the Kelly Gang.

12 thoughts on “Six Degrees of Separation: Our Wives Under the Sea by Julia Armfield

Add yours

  1. Great chain Lisa. I linked to Pachinko last month. I haven’t read Sweet bean paste, but I’ve given it to others, and have seen the really delightful film – An – based on it. I’d love to read it some time.

    I’ve only read Pachinko from your list but your Eleanor and Frank ones also interest me.

    As for “why do Americans say “named” and Brits say “called”” Good question. As an Aussie who has lived in the USA a couple of times, I find myself dyslexic on this, sometimes using one, sometimes the other, and never quite sure what is “right”! “Named” feels more formal to me.


  2. I love how varied this chain is. Loving Frank was a great book (unfortunately, her 2nd novel wasn’t nearly as good). I didn’t know TC Boyle had written about Frank Lloyd Wright, but I see it is his book “The Women”. Hm… maybe…


  3. I’ve had Pachinko on my watchlist for a while now because I’m drawn to books set in Korea. The Sweet Bean Paste sounds good too.

    No idea why we Brits say “called” and you all say “named” but if you do find out, make sure to let us all know


  4. Interesting to see Loving Frank here – my book club read that years ago and while none of us liked it, we had a great discussion. Pachinko has been on my list for a long time. Did you like it?


  5. I’ve not read any of the books in your chain, although Pachinko has been on my list wish for ages. M*A*S*H was a TV favourite. May have to take advantage of that Kindle price and read the book!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Love your chain. I really enjoyed Red, White and Royal Blue too, and I liked your associated links. I really must read Pachinko at some point.


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