Six Degrees of Separation: Atonement

Hosted each month by Kate at Booksaremyfavouriteandbest, Six Degrees of Separation picks a starting book for participants to go wherever it takes them in six more steps. Our starting book this month is …

Atonement by Ian McEwan

Shocking, I know – but I’ve not read it!  I have seen the film though – and one of the scenes that stuck with me was when James McAvoy walked up and down the beaches at Dunkirk while waiting to be evacuated.  So Dunkirk is my first link to:

The Dolphin Crossing by Jill Paton Walsh

This is a children’s adventure novel, which I’m pretty sure I read way back when. In it, two young boys take their boat, presumably called Dolphin, over to Dunkirk as one of the ‘little ships’ helping in the evacuation.  My link is dolphin, which leads me to:

On Green Dolphin Street by Sebastian Faulks

America 1959 and the Cold War is looming. Faulks’s novel is the story of an affair between the wife of a British embassy chap and an American journalist, set against the changing political times of the era.  The central affair is my link to:

The Atomic Weight of Love by Elizabeth J Church

I reviewed this lovely novel for Shiny (here) and just adored its cover.  It starts slightly earlier in 1943 and in it, the wife of a scientist at Los Alamos has an affair with a younger man whom she meets while out hiking and studying birds. I’m fascinated by books about Los Alamos, so that links to:

The Wives of Los Alamos by TaraShea Nesbit

Which is not about the atom bomb, but again about the community that builds around the top secret centre in the American desert in the 1940s. (My review here).  Told in a first person plural style, Nesbit’s experimental debut chronicles the wives’ stories from arrival to departure, through affairs, babies and more. Another debut story of American families is:

Tigers in Red Weather by Liza Klaussman

How I loved this novel (reviewed here).  Going from the 1940s into the 1960s, we follow five characters who summer on Martha’s Vineyard at Tiger House.  Literary allusions abound, with lead characters being called Nick and Daisy and New England replacing Long Island, you are bound to think of The Great Gatsby.  The stifling start to Nick and Hughes’ relationship after the war recalls Yates’ Revolutionary Road.  The gin o’clock culture is pure Mad Men meets Hemingway, and to top it all, the author is related to another early chronicler of New England – Herman Melville! My final link will be weather, which leads me to:

Turbulence by Giles Foden

This book is a fiction based on the stories of the meteorologists including the real James Stagg, who led the of UK and US weather men tasked with picking the right day for the D-Day landings – which neatly brings me around to close the circle as some (but apparently not many, I checked) of the soldiers evacuated from Dunkirk returned to the continent during Operation Overlord.

So I’ve gone round from France to various stops in the USA and back to France again this time! Where will your six degrees take you?






15 thoughts on “Six Degrees of Separation: Atonement

  1. Kay says:

    This was a great chain! Loved it! I do enjoy doing this meme so much and also learning about so many new-to-me books. A couple have been on my list to read – The Wives of Los Alamos. I really need to check my library for that one soon.

    • AnnaBookBel says:

      Thanks Kay. The TaraShea Nesbit was rather brilliant, even if the style takes some getting used to.

  2. A Life in Books says:

    Great chain, Annabel. That Wives of Los Alamos to The Atomic Weight of Love link is a particular delight, not least because the Nesbit didn’t seem to get much coverage when it was published.

  3. Margaret says:

    Fascinating chain! It makes me want to read all of them, except Atonement which I have read – and loved, better than the film, although the film is good too. And I’ve also read Turbulence – a lot of the detailed information and technical stuff went over my head, but I was gripped by the story – compelling reading!

    • AnnaBookBel says:

      Thanks Margaret. I really should read Atonement. For the life of me, I don’t know why I’ve missed it out.

  4. Kate W says:

    I LOVED Tigers in Red Weather. Oddly, I was busting to get my hands on her next book, and I did, and yet it remains in my TBR stack… not sure why. There’s always that thing with a second book that it won’t live up to the first…

  5. Never Not Reading says:

    It kind of breaks my heart just a little that you had dolphin as a link and didn’t get to ANY kids books about dolphins, of which there are surely thousands. Sounds like an interesting read about Dunkirk, though, so I’m looking into it for my tbr. I enjoyed your links!

  6. lakesidemusing says:

    I enjoyed reading your chain. The Wives of Los Alamos has been on my list since I read The Girls of Atomic City a couple of years ago… such an interesting topic. I did read Tigers in Red Weather a few winter ago on vacation. If I remember correctly, it had all the ingredients I tend to enjoy in a beach read. As much as I enjoyed Atonement, I have yet to see the film… must remedy that soon!

Leave a Reply