It’s time for #6Degrees and truly, it’s easy to play (no rules, just bookish fun) – join in!
This month we begin with The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas. What can I say about this book except that if you want to start a heated debate at a dinner party, mention it!
Everything goes to crap among friends at a backyard barbecue in The Slap, as it does in Liane Moriarty’s Truly, Madly, Guilty.
Actually, I haven’t read Truly, Madly, Guilty but it was a ‘change of pace’ book group pick… which I decided to give a miss… Anyway, thanks to a typo in the book group email, it was referred to as Truly, Madly, Quilty (and will remain that way in my mind). Quilting makes me think of Siri Hustvedt’s The Summer Without Men.
Looking back on my review of The Summer Without Men, there doesn’t seem to be any mention of quilting – curious because it’s strong in my memory. A glance through other reviews on Goodreads suggest ‘needlework’ but that’s all. I googled ‘quilting novels’ and it’s a whole genre – who knew?! I didn’t get far down the search results because ultimately it doesn’t matter (the joy of a meme without rules).
One of the things I also remember about The Summer Without Men is reference to five elderly women known as ‘the five swans’. Swans are the link to Chloe Hooper’s The Engagement (I won’t say why because it’s a spoiler).
The main character in The Engagement is an architect. One of the most interesting novels I’ve read about architecture in the last few years is The Submission by Amy Waldman. The story focuses on the design of a 9/11 monument.
In Kirsten Tranter’s novel, The Legacy, a woman goes missing on the day of 9/11 – a day she wasn’t even supposed to be in New York. Likewise, in Me and You by Niccolo Ammaniti, the main character, Lorenzo, is not where he is supposed to be.
From backyard barbecue chaos and quilting to swans, architects and missing people – where will others chains lead?
Next month (June 3, 2017), the chain will begin with Steve Martin’s Shopgirl (thanks to Annabel at AnnaBookBel for the suggestion).