Book covers: The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey; The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman; The Island by Adrian McKinty; The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave; The Last to Vanish by Megan Miranda; Then She was Gone by Lisa Jewell; Gone, Baby, Gone by Dennis Lehand

6 Degrees of Separation

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’s exercise begins with The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey, set in Alaska in 1920. Jack and Mabel, a childless couple homesteading in the lonely wilderness, build a child out of snow. The next morning, the snow child has come to life. She hunts and roams the forest, like a creature out of a fairy tale.

first degree

In The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman, which begins in 1926, Tom Sherbourne and his wife Isabel serve as lighthouse keepers on a lonely rock miles off the coast of Australia. After one still birth and two miscarriages, Isabel longs for a child. When a small boat washes ashore carrying a dead man and a crying infant, Isabel convinces Tom they should tell no one and keep the child.

second degree

The Island by Adrian McKinty is also set on an Australian island closed to visitors. Tom Baxter, a widowed doctor from Seattle, bribes the ferryman to allow his family to visit long enough to see kangaroos and koalas. When their dream vacation soon turns into a nightmare, with Tom held captive, Tom’s new wife must work to earn the trust and respect of her two stepchildren if they are going to get off the island alive.

third degree

The plot ofThe Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave also features a woman who must gain the trust and respect of her stepchild when her new husband suddenly vanishes, leaving behind a cryptic note that says “Protect her.”

fourth degree

More than one person has vanished in The Last to Vanish by Megan Miranda.

fifth degree

Laurel Mack’s 15-year-old daughter, Ellie, vanished 10 years before the opening of Lisa Jewell’s novel Then She Was Gone. Laurel is stunned when she meets a man whose 9-year-old daughter is the spitting image of Ellie.

sixth degree

The word gone provides the link to this month’s final entry Gone, Baby, Gone by Dennis Lehane. When the police fail to find a 4-year-old girl who was abducted from her bed in the middle of the night, Boston private investigators Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro are hired to find the child. As they dig deeper into the case, they learn a lot about drug dealers, addiction, child molesters, and what it means to be a parent.

And now that I’ve completed the list, I realize that all six of these entries deal, in some way, with the relationship between parents and children, and the question of what parenting truly involves.

Where did your December journey through 6 degrees of separation take you?

© 2022 by Mary Daniels Brown

9 thoughts on “6 Degrees of Separation”

  1. I’ve added The Light Between Oceans to my wishlist, thanks for bringing it to my attention, Mary. I like the sound of The Island, too. I’ve heard a lot about Gone, Baby, Gone but I’m not sure I’m currently in the mood for its grittiness. One day, maybe.

  2. A lot of disappearing family members there! The only one I’ve read from the list is Gone, Baby, Gone. Dennis Lehane is sometimes unbearably gritty, isn’t he (Mystic River was even worse, I think – and another case of disappearance).

  3. Ooops, not sure if my comment went through! Was commenting on the grittiness of Dennis Lehane – you need to be in the right frame of mind to read his books.

  4. Such a clever chain!

    I have also started with The Light Between Oceans as my first degree and I’m very interested in The Island now. The Last thing He Told me is on my TBR. I hope to get to it soon!

    Blessings for the Festive Season ahead!

    Elza Reads

  5. You’re one of two people to begin your chain with The Light Between Oceans . There’s a message there which I have absorbed! An interesting chain, and – so far – I’ve read nothing from it. This will change!

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