Six Degrees of Separation // My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante

Although I typically think of Kevin Bacon when I hear the phrase, I’m more than happy to connect books via varying degrees, from the serious to the inane. This month the first link in the chain is one I haven’t read – My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante.

Six Degrees

From what I understand of the plot, My Brilliant Friend is the story of two women who are lifelong friends. This immediately reminds me of Judy Blume’s Summer Sisters, which also focuses on a friendship that spans from adolescence into adulthood.

The next connection is a twofold, both books have summer in the title and both focus on female friendships. Beatriz Williams’ A Hundred Summers is a quintessential beach read, but the climax of the novel is the impending hurricane that hits Rhode Island in 1938.

Storms form the next three connections. Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward is the story of 14 year old Esch and her family, in the days leading up to Hurricane Katrina.

In Sweetgirl by Travis Mulhauser, 16 year old Percy searches for her mother, but instead finds a baby, all while a huge blizzard bears down on her home in Northern Michigan.

Using the teenage girl searching for a parent story line, as well as a similarity in economic standing (which is to say, none), my last connection is to Winter’s Bone by Daniel Woodrell.

The final novel in my chain, The Ploughmen by Kim Zupan, is one shares the gloom and grit of Woodrell, but centers on a murderer and a police officer in the lonely Montana countryside.

Visit Books Are My Favourite and Best to join in, and the rules are listed here. What would your chain look like?

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  • Laura Frey

    Very nice! I gotta do one of these. You going to get on the Ferrente train this year?

    • http://www.fourthstreetreview.com/ Rory O’Connor

      I might. Everyone says it’s worth it, but that cover… It’s hard for me to get past it (snobby on my part, yes).

  • Kate

    Snap! Great minds think alike on Judy Blume. Sometimes I think the start of my chain over for a bit, with different books taking me in different directions but Summer Sisters was an instant choice, no thinking required.

    I still haven’t read A Hundred Summers (or her next book, which I also have in the TBR stack… so many books, so little time…). Although not my usual genre, I’m very attracted to The Ploughmen, on the basis of the cover alone.

    • http://www.fourthstreetreview.com/ Rory O’Connor

      I saw it on your chain, but there truly wasn’t a better option. The Ploughmen is beautifully written, so while it’s not your usual genre, I don’t think it’s further past it than say Eileen is…

      A Hundred Summers is wonderful mindless reading.

  • Kailana

    I really need to reread Summer Sisters. I read it so long ago and don’t really remember it. This making connections is a lot of fun. 🙂

    • http://www.fourthstreetreview.com/ Rory O’Connor

      It is. And Summer Sisters is always worth a revisit.

  • http://rosemaryandreadingglasses.com/ Carolyn O

    Catch the Fever, Rory. It’s awesome. And lord, did I love The Ploughmen.

    • http://www.fourthstreetreview.com/ Rory O’Connor

      If I can force myself past that cover…

      • http://rosemaryandreadingglasses.com/ Carolyn O

        The covers are hideous. That’s part of why I put them off for so long. Just avert your eyes, though–totally worth it.

  • http://www.marelden.com mariahelena

    I can’t believe I didn’t think of Summer Sisters for the first link.

  • http://bookishtendencies.com Katie McD @ Bookish Tendencies

    Nice connections! I still need to get to some Ferrante one of these days…

  • http://momsradius.blogspot.com Kate Unger

    I love this! I will need to join in for April or May. Great job. I LOVE Summer Sisters. So happy to see it on your list. 🙂

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