6 Degrees of Separation: Olive Kitteridge

February 6, 2016 | 4 comments


6 Degrees of Separation is a book meme originally started by Annabel Smith and Emma Chapman, and now hosted by Kate at Books are My Favorite and Best. The goal is to construct a chain with 6 other books, using any criteria you want, and see where you end up.

This month, the starting book is Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout. This novel with a strong female main character won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

The Hours by Michael Cunningham is another novel with very strong female characters (Virginia Woolf, Clarissa Vaughan, and Laura Brown) which also won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1999. In the movie adaption from 2002, the three leads were portrayed by Nicole Kidman, Meryl Streep, and Julianne Moore.

More recently, Julianne Moore starred as the lead in the film adaption of Lisa Genova’s novel Still Alice. The main character, Alice, is a psychology professor and linguistics expert at Harvard University who battles the effects of Alzheimer’s disease, including loss of memory.

In What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty, the main character Alice wakes up in the hospital, having lost her memory. Through the book, she struggles to reconstruct her memories and figure out what happened in the lost ten years of her life.

Another powerful story where the main character loses her memory is The Vow by Kim Carpenter. It’s the real life story about married couple Kim and Krickitt. After being in a car accident, Krickitt loses her memory and cannot remember who Kim is. Kim and Krickitt was portrayed by Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams in the film adaption from 2012, although in the movie, their characters were called Leo and Paige.

Rachel McAdams also starred in the film adaption of another great love story – The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks. The Notebook is one of my all-time favourite love stories, and it is one of those where I actually prefer the movie over the book.

The Choice, the most recent film adaption of a Nicholas Sparks novel, premiered yesterday. I’m very much looking forward to seeing it, but I’m still waiting to get the book from the library, and I definitely want to read it before seeing the movie.


This time, my chain took me from a book with a strong female character, through a chain of books with strong, complex characters and emotional plots, ending with a book I hope I will like.

Why don’t you join us and make your own chain? Starting with Olive Kitteridge, where will you end up? Visit Books Are My Favourite and Best to read the rules and see who else made a chain this month.

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