This meme is hosted by Kate from Books are my Favourite and Best, and this month starts with
Friendaholic: Confessions of A Friendship Addict by Elizabeth Day.
Okay, as I confessed in my review, I only picked this book up because it is the starting point for this month’s #6 Degrees of separation. I am glad I did: it took me into a meditation of different friendships in fiction as well as thinking about relationships for people who are not neurotypical.
My first link is to The Group by Mary McCarthy. When this book was first published in 1963, its descriptions of sex, contraception and breast-feeding as they affected a group of eight female graduates in 1930s America was deemed so scandalous that the novel was banned in Australia as an offence to public morals. I was too young to be conscious of all this, but I wonder if my mother read it?
My next link was to My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante. A different example of friendship: an intense friendship between two women, starting in the 1950s in a poor neighbourhood on the outskirts of Naples.
And, while poverty is one of the themes in my next choice, Carmen and Grace by Melissa Coss Aquino, the setting is quite different. Two neglected cousins living in the Bronx area of New York City become caught up in a drug empire. No, it does not end well.
How do we choose friendships and decide which relationships are best for us? If this is difficult for those regarded as neurotypical, imagine how much harder it can be for people whose neurodiversity can make it challenging to read those around them? Love and Autism by Kay Kerr is about trying to navigate around the world when the compass you use is calibrated differently from most others.
Which leads me to my last choice: Matthew Flinders’ Cat by Bryce Courtenay. The three main characters are a street dwelling alcoholic, Billy O’Shannessy, Ryan Sanfrancesco an 11-year-old streetwise boy whose future is at risk, and Trim (Matthew Flinders’ cat). Three separate stories which involve an historical cat in an unlikely friendship between two people in need.
So, these are my connections for June. The links lead to my reviews either here on my blog, or on Goodreads. Very different books involving very different examples of friendships and relationships. What do you think?