#6Degrees Of Separation Book Challenge From Fight Club to We That Are Left

Welcome to my first #6Degrees challenge

Hosted by Kate from Books Are My Favourite And Best The idea is to start at the same book as other readers, then link six books, and see where you end up! I first saw this challenge on @bookertalk ‘s blog. Here is a link to her February list.

This month the starting book was Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk The book features an unnamed narrator who leaves his lackluster job when he comes under the thrall of Tyler Durden, an enigmatic young man who holds secret after-hours boxing matches in the basement of bars. There, two men fight “as long as they have to.” This work exposes the darkness at the core of our modern world.

(I have not read Fight Club, but I have read my six books).

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I chose the unnamed narrator as my link to the next book in my chain.

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The Golden Orphans by Gary Raymond has an unnamed narrator. This is a mystery set on Cyprus. An artist is asked to paint the dreams of his mysterious Russian benefactor.

I chose Russia as my link to my next book.

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Moscow Bound by Adrian Churchward. An English human rights lawyer is asked to find a man who has been languishing for decades without trial in the Gulag system. He’ll uncover hidden cold-war secrets during his search.

I chose the cold war theme as the link to my next book.

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Nighfall Berlin by Jack Grimwood This book is set mainly in Berlin. In a plot with plenty of twists, British Intelligence, the East German Stasi and the Russian Communists are all involved.

I chose spies as my link to my next book.

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Transcription by Kate Atkinson is historical fiction with three distinct settings. It is about a young women recruited by the secret service into the world of espionage. The second part of the story is set in 1950 where she is a producer of radio programmes for schools.

I chose the post World War Two period as my next theme.

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Call Nurse Millie by Jean Fullerton For 25-year-old Millie, a qualified nurse and midwife, the jubilation at the end of the war is short-lived as she tends to the needs of the East End community around her.

I chose nursing in war as my last book.

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We That Are Left by Juilet Greenwood – Set during WWI it features three friends: Alice finds work in a hospital, Elin makes plans to grow more foodstuffs to feed the local community, and Mouse heads off to France with a truck full of medical supplies.

I’m a little late posting this. If you’d like to join the challenge in March (posts should go out around March 2nd) The starting point book is The Arsonist by Chloe Hooper, a true crime novel.

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Rosie’s #Bookreview of #Mystery The Golden Orphans by @GaryRaymond_ #Cyprus setting

The Golden OrphansThe Golden Orphans by Gary Raymond

4 stars

The Golden Orphans is a mystery set on Cyprus. It opens with the funeral of Francis Benthem. The one mourner is an English artist, former student and friend of the deceased.

Illy Prostakov has a recurring dream that he wants painting. He generously offers to pay off all the artist’s current debts if he’ll stay and paint, but can this Russian be trusted?

The artist makes enquiries, locally, about Prostakov, but no one has anything positive to say. He learns a little about the recent history of Cyprus, including the Turkish invasion in 1974 which split the island. And he hears the story of The Golden Orphans, babies left parentless on the night of the invasion, who grew up as heroic symbols of survival for the people. There’s a tenuous link; Prostakov is searching for a lost treasure linked to his dream. We discover that he worked in Cyprus before the invasion, but what is he really trying to find?

In an unusual choice we are never told the name of our narrator/artist, but it actually doesn’t matter. The author’s descriptions and writing style allow the reader to created their own pictures without the need of a name. I could easily imagine the summer heat and the various settings. There’s also an underlying theme of lost souls, with many either escaping from life, or searching for something unknown.

In conclusion, this is more of a mystery than a thriller. I’ve never been to Cyprus, but the local history was interesting. And if you do know the island, it will have even more meaning as you read the story.

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Book description

Francis Benthem is a successful artist; he’s created a new life on an island in the sun. He works all night, painting the dreams of his mysterious Russian benefactor, Illy Prostakov. He writes letters to old friends and students back in cold, far away London. But now Francis Benthem is found dead. The funeral is planned and his old friend from art school arrives to finish what Benthem had started. The painting of dreams on a faraway island. But you can also paint nightmares and Illy has secrets of his own that are not ready for the light. Of promises made and broken, betrayal and murder…

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