#6 of Separation – From Detective to Handmaid

One of my vague New Years Resolutions is to play every month with the #6 of Separation chain. I am a day late, but here goes

I have not read Alexander McCall Smith’s No.1 Ladies Detective Agency:

I have read A Prescription for Action by Susan Currie which is about the Life of Dr Janet Irwin an amazing woman who grew up in New Zealand, became a doctor, moved to Brisbane and “is warmly remembered as a fearless activist on issues of health and social justice.”  I think Dr Irwin was amazing and I wish I had met her. McCall Smith is Janet Irwin’s nephew. So there you go…

Another book with political activism at its centre is The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Collins says she was partly inspired by the Greek Myth of Theseus and the Minotaur. As a punishment for past deeds, Athens had to send seven young men and women to Crete to be thrown in the Labyrinth with the Minotaur.  She draws parallels between the Roman gladiatorial games and reality television.

Another Greek Myth retold is Margaret Atwood’s The Penelopiad where we get to hear what was happening to Penelope and her Twelve Maids while they wait for Odysseus’ return.

Another book from the point of view of girls/women is the quiet yet violent and definitely beautiful My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante. It was my find for the year and all because someone tried to out Ferrante’s real identity.

Dual identities are explored in The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson, a book I read so many decades ago it seems like another life, or perhaps another person…Should I read it again? Is life too short to reread books?

A book re-read this year was The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood in preparation for the TV series.  Elisabeth Moss did an amazing job of Offred. Half the time she’s not allowed to speak and her face has to say it all.  No wonder she won the Emmy.

To find the rules to play this game, visit Books are My Best and Favourite. 

9 thoughts on “#6 of Separation – From Detective to Handmaid

  1. I’ve only read THE HUNGER GAMES from your chain, but you were quite creative with it. It was my first time trying and I had fun.

  2. Quite a political and feminist chain here. I haven’t read The Penelopiad yet, but it sounds fascinating. And OS has Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde for his English exams: he quite enjoyed it, although perhaps not analysing it in such exhaustive detail.

  3. Such an interesting list of books in your chain! Thanks for telling us the connection between Dr Irwin and Alexander McCall Smith. I am still to watch The Handmaid’s Tale, although I will. I found the book disturbing, yet compelling.

    1. I think they did a good job of adapting The Handmaid’s Tale. They expanded the story a bit and you find out the backstory of a number of characters. It is as disturbing as the book.

  4. Well I’m a very big fan of your New Years Resolution 🙂

    I have plans to re-read Handmaid’s this year – I read it in the late eighties and it’s one of those rare books that stayed in my mind all these years. As I was watching the tv series (which I thought was brilliant), I did wonder about how much it deviated from the book, so figured a re-read was in order.

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