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.
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.