It’s time for another adventure in Kate’s 6 Degrees of Separation Meme from her blog, Books Are My Favourite and Best. We are given a book to start with, and from there we free associate six books.
This month we begin with the 2019 best-seller Daisy Jones and The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid, the story of the rise and fall of a fictional rock band in the 1970s.
1. Another novel that features characters from the music industry is A Visit from the Goon Squad (2010) by Jennifer Egan. This novel received both the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the 2011 National Book Critics Circle Award.
2. Richard Russo’s Empire Falls (2001) also won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, in 2002. The novel is set in a now nearly dead former mill town in upstate New York. Although the population of the town has dwindled because of the lack of job opportunities, what remains of the town is still run by the aging daughter of the man who amassed a fortune from the operation of the mill.
3. The Blind Assassin (2000) by Margaret Atwood is another prize-winning novel, having received the Booker Prize in 2000. Like Empire Falls, The Blind Assassin takes place in a now much diminished former mill town in upstate New York still run by the aging daughter of the man who amassed a fortune from the operation of the mill. The main character of this novel is haunted by the accomplishment of her sister, Laura Chase, who wrote a popular science fiction/fantasy novel before dying at an early age.
4. Colleen Hoover’s 2018 novel Verity also features an author named Laura Chase, though the author’s real name is Lowen Ashleigh. When popular author Verity Crawford has a car accident and is unable to complete the final three books of her wildly popular fictional series, Verity’s husband and her publisher hire Lowen to complete the series. Verity’s husband insists that Lowen write the books under a pseudonym, and together they come up with the name Laura Chase. When Lowen arrives at the Crawford house to work in Verity’s study, Mr. Crawford introduces Lowen to the household staff as Laura Chase.
5. One Verity naturally leads to another: Code Name Verity (2012) by Elizabeth E. Wein. Another prize winner (the Edgar Award for Best Young Adult in 2013), this novel tells the story of young women working as spies in World War II.
6. Kate Atkinson’s 2018 novel Transcription tells the story of Juliet Armstrong, who, in 1940 at age 18, was hired by British intelligence to transcribe notes from conversations with informants. Soon Juliet is pulled more deeply into the spy business.
Having skipped last month because the prompt brought to mind absolutely nothing, I was delighted that this month’s chain fell into place almost effortlessly. From musicians through writers to spies, with a few literary awards thrown in, this has been the story of 6 Degrees of Separation.
© 2020 by Mary Daniels Brown