Six Degrees of Separation: from Wolfe Island to The Mirror and the Light

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

11 thoughts on “Six Degrees of Separation: from Wolfe Island to The Mirror and the Light

  1. I haven’t read Wolfe Island either, but I do think landscape is a big thing in it! I laughed when you said you were going to avoid the Wolfe-Woolf connection. I hadn’t thought of that one. I was trying to avoid the Wolfe-Wolf connection but in the end I decided to just go for it. And then I laughed because you did go to that Wolf connection (albeit not specifically). All this is to say I enjoyed reading your chain very much.

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    1. I’ve seen the blurb copied into many a meme post during my blog hopping this morning, so I at least know what Wolfe Island is about now! Mantel ended up being inevitable. She’s understandably everywhere at the moment. I watched a mini documentary last night that reminded me of how much I like her in all her unguarded oddness. I’m glad you enjoyed my chain. I’m looking forward to next month’s – I see that you’ve mapped your chain out already. Very organised!

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  2. Great chain – I like the way you linked back to Wolfe/Wolf at the end! I’m looking forward to reading The Mirror and the Light too, but I also have a few other books I need to finish first.

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    1. Thanks Helen. I couldn’t resist Hilary Mantel in the end. I read an excerpt from The Mirror and the Light in the Guardian and can hardly wait to get stuck in.

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  3. Thanks for liking my 6 Degrees post, Jan. I’m so glad you did because it let me discover your blog. And I’m glad about that, too! May I ask what WordPress theme you’re using here? Jetpack has informed me that I need to change to another theme because it’s dropping support for the one I’m using now, but I haven’t found another one that I really like. However, I do like the one you’re using here. Thanks.

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    1. I’m using the theme called Scrawl, Mary. I find it easy to use and like how clean it looks. Thanks for the follow. I enjoyed your chain, too. I’ve got Dune on my To Read list. I like the sound of The Lost Man, as well.

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  4. Nice chain! The only one I’ve heard about is the Hillary Mantel. She seems to be making quite a splash, but I’m not sure I’m interested in the books. I did like the TV series they did on the first book in the series, Wolf Hall.

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    1. I was reluctant to read Wolf Hall when it first came out but started reading it while the TV series was on. I was hooked and quickly moved on to Bring Up the Bodies. The TV production seemed faithful to the books to me, which doesn’t happen often!

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