SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION - From Atonement to Homeland

The first Saturday of the month is time for Six Degrees of Separation, a meme hosted by Kate of Books Are My Favourite and Best. A book is chosen as the starting point and the idea is to link six books to one another to form a chain.

I've often wanted to participate in this meme but could never find the first link to get me started. Finding that link, no matter how tenuous, is a challenge in itself. Once I had that, I found the rest followed quite easily though it did require a bit of creative thinking.

This month the starting point is Atonement by Ian McEwan. I haven't read the book, but I have seen the film.



This brought to mind another book made into a film (this one I've read), The War Horse by Michael Murpurgo, and the first link in my chain.

This leads me from a fictional horse to one that actually lived and my next link in the chain: Bill the Bastard: The Story of Australia's Greatest War Horse by Roland Perry.


From a flesh and blood horse my next link takes me to one made of iron. An "iron horse" is an iconic term for a steam locomotive. Sue Lawrence uses the Tay Rail Bridge disaster of 1879 as the background to her novel The Last Train. It also conveniently features a locomotive on its cover.

The same can be said of the next book in my chain. Half the World in Winter by Maggie Joel is also set in the Victorian era and has a railway disaster at its core.

The word "winter" in the title links to Lorna Gray's mystery/romance In the Shadow of Winter, which shares the winter of 1946/47,
one of the harshest on record, as a setting with Homeland by Clare Francis.

And this final book, with its one-word title links back to the starting book, which is also a one-word title (totally unplanned).

So that's it for my first Six Degrees of Separation. I'm looking forward to playing again next month starting with Where Am I Now? by Mara Wilson.

13 comments:

  1. I think you did very well with your links. I love doing this and one never knows exactly where the chain will end up or how it will get there, right? I think it's a very creative exercise. Plus I love learning about 'new-to-me' books. Good job!

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    1. Thank you, Kay. I agree it is a bit of a journey into the unknown but so satisfactory when you get to the final link.

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  2. Nice links - love what you did with the iron horse!
    That first link is the one though isn’t it? Once you get it, the rest just follow naturally.

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    1. Thank you, Brona. I surprised myself with the iron horse link. That first link is definitely the hardest!

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  3. Well, you may have had to put some hard thinking into your first link but you made the rest look effortless :-) (I loved the movie of War Horse and I was lucky enough to see the stage play as well).

    Thanks for joining in and I hope you play again.

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    1. Thank you, Kate. I would've liked to have seen the stage play. The horse puppets were fascinating.

      I think I'm hooked :-) and am looking forward to playing again!

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  4. This is a great chain, especially as it's your first attempt. The first link is usually the hardest, particularly when you haven't read the book. I enjoyed War Horse (both book and film) but haven't read any of the others in your chain.

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    1. Thank you, Helen. I've not read any books by Ian McEwan and only knew of Atonement because of the film. I could've used a WWII link instead which would have taken my chain in a different direction.



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  5. Ve-ry clever links - suavely done, bravo! I can't believe you haven't done this before! War Horse is such a brilliant book - and the stage adaptation had me and my sons bawling our eyes out, although the horse was made of metal.

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    1. Thank you, Marina Sofia. I'm disappointed I didn't get to see the stage play as I would've liked to see the horse puppets. I watched War Horse on DVD and did reach for the tissues a number of times.

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  6. Yes, it is often the first link that is the trickiest - I know when I think of possible first links, my mind leap-frogs to the second, third etc links. But I usually find that once the first link is in place, the rest follows. If I get stuck, I leave it for a bit - invariably the next link comes to me while I'm doing something else!
    Thanks for joining in.

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    1. I did exactly that - went and did other things when I got stuck! I'm looking forward to next month's challenge.

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  7. These sound like great choices, especially because two are about horses.

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