Friday, August 2, 2019

Six Degrees of Separation from Family Matters to Call the Midwife


Family Matters

Such a Long Journey The City of Joy. Dominique Lapierre The Poisonwood Bible
Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots The Red Tent Call the Midwife (The Midwife Trilogy, #1)


We begin this month where we finished the July Six Degrees of Separation with Family Matters by Rohinton Mistry. In this book, the main character, Nariman Vakeel, already suffering from Parkinson’s disease, breaks an ankle and finds himself wholly dependent on his family. The decisions made by each of the family members test tolerance, compassion, integrity and faith.

The easiest link is to another book by the same author, so we go to Such a Long Journey which was Rohinton Mistry’s first novel published in 1991. He had previously published a book of short stories in 1989. It is the story of a family man who struggles to keep his family out of poverty during political turmoil in India. Trying to find ways to keep his family together he finds himself drawn into government corruption. 

Staying in the same country City of Joy written by Dominique Lapierre takes place in the slums of Calcutta. In this book, a young Polish priest lives as a missionary with the people of the slums, a farmer and his family who move to Calcutta for a better life after their farm is ruined by drought, a young American doctor comes to the City of Joy to save as many lives as possible and local residents of the slums sacrifice everything to help the priest and the doctor.

If we concentrate on the religious mission, we can go to The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. This is the story of an evangelical Baptist Nathan Price who takes his family on a mission in the Belgian Congo. 

Nathan Price in The Poisonwood Bible tries to rule his family of daughters with religious fervour. We find a similar atmosphere in the memoir of a young woman trapped in the traditions of the sect of Hasidic Judaism in Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of my Hasidic Roots by Deborah Feldman.

Staying with the religious theme and the struggles of women in religious fervour, we can leap to The Red Tent by Anita Diamant that chronicles the story of Dinah, the only daughter of Jacob and his four wives. Dinah is supported and loved by Jacob’s four wives as they sustain her through her hard-working youth. It is a different and enlightened look at the biblical women’s society.

Dinah, in The Red Tent follows her calling into midwifery. So our last link can be to Call the Midwife by Jennifer Worth. This popular story is of a young trainee midwife in London in the 1950’s. It became a popular BBC television series. 

Beginning in India and going to Africa, America, the Bible and finishing in England we have travelled the world in this month’s Six Degrees, all books read by the Muse & Views Book Club.

If you would like to see the Six Degrees meme go to Kate W's blog .