It’s time for March’s Six Degrees of Separation. I’m a day late. I chose booking a holiday and spending the afternoon with multiple Anthony Gormleys at Crosby Beach over building a book chain yesterday. Head over to Books Are My Favourite And Best to find out more about this monthly challenge.
Wolfe Island by Lucy Treloar is the starting book this month.
Guess what? I hadn’t heard of it before today. I’m glad it’s a woman writer. Today is International Women’s Day. My goal is to steer clear of male writers in this chain.
I shall avoid the obvious Wolfe/Woolf trajectory and instead focus on the Treloar. Treloar is a Cornish name, although Lucy isn’t from that beautiful county. On my To Read pile I have a book of Cornish Short Stories edited by Emma Timpany and Felicity Notley.
I bought my copy on holiday in Falmouth. It promises ghosts, the Cornish landscape and forbidden love in tales told by contemporary Cornish writers.
There’s a story by Sarah Perry in the collection. I haven’t checked whether it’s that Sarah Perry, but I’m going to assume that it is. I’ve got her debut novel After Me Comes the Flood on my wishlist.
Its premise of a remote community that takes in a stranded motorist and doesn’t let him go sounds like the stuff psychological nightmares are made from.
There’s a stranded motorist in Ali Smith’s The Accidental, a tale of dysfunctional family life. The motorist is Amber, who gate crashes a family holiday and brings underlying tensions to the surface.
There’s a dysfunctional family in Deborah Levy’s Hot Milk as well. A grown up daughter is shackled to her ill mother. On a trip to southern Spain to find a treatment for her mother’s ailments, Sofia attempts to have a life experience of her own.
I’m staying in Spain for my next choice. There’s more dysfunction here, too. Lina Wolff’s Bret Easton Ellis and the Other Dogs was a standout read last summer. As with The Accidental, there’s a teenage girl who doesn’t know her father and who wants to be an adult before she is ready.
Wolff has brought me back to Wolfe but I’m still avoiding Virginia. Instead I’m placing the mantle on Hilary and her new book The Mirror and the Light which draws to a close the story of Thomas Cromwell that she began so wonderfully in Wolf Hall.
I’m excited to read this novel but it’s going to have to wait until I’ve knocked a few more off my To Read pile.
I still don’t know what Wolfe Island is about. It would be amusing if it shares themes with any of the books in my chain. Does landscape or forbidden love play a part? Is there a remote community involved? Maybe there’s a teenage girl trying to deal with family dysfunction. Any of these seem possible. I’m fairly confident that Treloar’s book isn’t about the rise and fall of a commoner within the court of Henry VIII, though.
Have you read the first book in this month’s chain? It doesn’t matter if you haven’t. You can still not join in with the Six Degrees fun at host Kate’s blog.