Six Degrees of Separation – From Treloar to…

Chain links…

Six Degrees of Separation is a monthly meme hosted by Books Are My Favourite and Best. The idea is to start with the book that Kate gives us and then create a chain of six books, each suggested by the one before. This month’s starting book is…

Wolfe Island by Lucy Treloar. Haven’t read this one but here’s what the blurb tells us…

For years Kitty Hawke has lived alone on Wolfe Island, witness to the island’s erosion and clinging to the ghosts of her past. Her work as a sculptor and her wolfdog Girl are enough. News of mainland turmoil is as distant as myth until refugees from that world arrive: her granddaughter Cat, and Luis and Alejandra, a brother and sister escaping persecution. When threats from the mainland draw closer, they are forced to flee for their lives. They travel north through winter, a journey during which Kitty must decide what she will do to protect the people she loves.

It has glowing reviews, but I don’t think it’s one for me. Ignoring the pesky ‘e’, I’m jumping to another title with a wild creature in it…

The Lion Wakes by Robert Low. Set in the turbulent period of Scottish history of Wallace and Bruce, this book gives an unvarnished and unromanticised picture of the still almost barbarian life in Scotland then. No great patriots here, fighting for independence. The picture instead is of a group of scheming aristocrats, plotting how best to gain more land and wealth for themselves, and willing to destroy both the land and the common people to achieve their ends. I thoroughly enjoyed this claymore-and-kilt adventure, especially since it has a lot of excellent Scottish dialect.

And following a theme, on to another with a wild creature in the title…

Eagle & Crane by Suzanne Rindell. When Earl Shaw wins two small planes in a poker game, he decides to put his skills as a showman to good use by taking the planes barnstorming round Depression-era California, tempting customers to go up for a scenic flight. Earl offers two young men, Louis Thorn and Harry Yamada, jobs as aerial stuntmen and so the act of Eagle & Crane is born – Eagle to represent the good ol’ US of A, and Crane to represent the villainous and untrustworthy Japs of Harry’s heritage. But the war is about to begin, and suddenly white America will begin to see its Japanese-heritage citizens as more than a comic-book threat. A great book from one of my newest favourite authors.

Next in this month’s menagerie…

The Elephant’s Journey by José Saramago. King Dom João III of Portugal wishes to give a present to the Hapsburg Archduke Maximilian, and decides that the elephant Solomon would be the ideal gift. It’s the mid-sixteenth century, so the only method of transport for Solomon is his own four feet. This is the story of his journey, along with his keeper Subhro and a troop of Portuguese soldiers, as they make their way through Spain and Italy, finally crossing the Alps to reach their destination, Vienna. Not much depth to this one, but it’s quite entertaining…

Not sure which of these counts as the wildest – man or beast…

Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs. Lord Greystoke and his young wife Lady Alice are on their way to take up a new colonial appointment in Africa when the crew of the ship they are on mutiny. The mutineers drop their passengers off on a wild coast, far from civilised habitation, but close to the jungle. For a while they survive, long enough for Lady Alice to bear the son she was already carrying. But when disaster strikes, leaving the baby all alone in the world, he is adopted by a tribe of apes and grows up learning their ways, unaware of his own heritage. Great fun – full of thrills, excitement, high love and general drama!

One of my many grievances with the next one is that it takes 93% of the book before we finally catch sight of the eponymous creature of the wild ocean…

Moby-Dick; or, The White Whale by Herman Melville. Our narrator (call him Ishmael) signs up for a voyage aboard the whaling ship Pequod, only to find that the Captain, Ahab, is pursuing a personal vendetta against the whale which caused him to lose his leg – Moby-Dick. Off we go, searching for that pesky whale through every ocean, sea and puddle in the world, talking cod Shakespearian and fantasising about the sensual aspects of whale blubber! Gosh, I enjoyed dreading this book, then hating it and writing a scathing review – not to mention the fun I had pastiching it! I miss that old monster of the deep…

And back to the jungle for my last wild beast…

The Night Tiger by Yangsze Choo. In 1930s Malaya, young Ren was the houseboy of Dr McPherson until the doctor’s death. Before he died, the doctor gave Ren two instructions – firstly, that he should go into the employment of another doctor, William Abbott, and secondly, that he should find Dr McPherson’s severed finger and bury it alongside him in his grave. Ren has 49 days to complete this second task; if he fails, Dr McPherson’s soul will remain wandering the earth for ever. I enjoyed every word of this – the characterisation, the descriptions of the society, the perspective on colonialism, the elements of humour and romance, the folklore, the eerieness and the darkness.

* * * * *

So Treloar to Choo, via wolves, lions, eagles, elephants, apes, whales and tigers!

Hope you enjoyed the safari. 😀

40 thoughts on “Six Degrees of Separation – From Treloar to…

  1. I absolutely love your safari theme, FictionFan! What a clever idea! And it brought together all sorts of interesting books, too. And you’ve reminded me that I still haven’t read The Night Tiger, though I want to do that. So I’m glad for that nudge. Before I do that, too, why don’t we arrange for a lovely in-depth conversation about the different layers of Moby Dick, and the subtle meaning in the novel? 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a menagerie! Bravo! Or brava, I should say! 😀 One day, I’d like to see a six degrees of separation post on books you never wish to read again (like Steinbeck’s offerings). 😁😁😁

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Very clever, FF — and your animal pictures are splendid, especially the wolf (minus that ‘e’!) I remember suffering through Moby Dick as well, but the one with the elephants intrigues me. I do hope nothing awful happened to the poor beast during his trek to a new home. Did you notice how mesmerizing that tiger’s eyes are?!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Glad you enjoyed the animals – I had fun searching for them! 😀 The elephant made it to the end of his journey safely so from that point of view the book is fine – but it’s not the most exciting read in the world… The tiger is terrifying, isn’t it? Somehow the lion doesn’t look so scary even though he’s growling…

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Excellent chain and I love the wild life gifs. One of my biggest regrets is never seeing a tiger, despite paying a fortune for continuous tiger safaris in India. Anyway, will have another look at the gif!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve only ever seen wild animals in zoos, and I really hate seeing them there so haven’t been to one for decades now. But with TV and internet we all get the chance to see everything these days, without the need to get off the couch! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  5. hahah I liked this safari theme! Silly question for you; when you list these books, does it mean you need to read them if you haven’t already, or do you just need to come up with six books that are connected?

    Liked by 1 person

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