Six Degrees of Separation – from Rodham to Dreamspell

This is the first Saturday of the month which means that it is time for Six Degrees of Separation, the book challenge, hosted by Kate at Kate from Books are My Favorite and Best.


The starting point for all of us is Rodham by Curtis Sittenfeld


This novel re-imagines Hillary Clinton’s life and what would have happened if she had not married Bill Clinton.

(After each book cover, is a summary from Goodreads)

1.     Josie Silver gives us a reimagining of Lydia Bird’s life, one with and one without her fiancé Freddie in Two Lives of Lydia Bird

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something inexplicable happens that gives her another chance at her old life with Freddie. A life where none of the tragic events of the past few months have happened. Lydia is pulled again and again across the doorway of her past, living two lives, impossibly, at once.


2.      A look at how a life can be changed in an instant, Aimee Friedman imagines the two futures of Summer in Two Summers

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When Summer Everett makes a split-second decision, her summer divides into two parallel worlds. In one, she travels to France, where she’s dreamed of going: a land of chocolate croissants, handsome boys, and art museums. In the other, she remains home, in her ordinary suburb, where she expects her ordinary life to continue — but nothing is as it seems.


3.     Another look at how one’s future could have been different with a different decision is offered by Jessica Brody’s In Some Other Life

in some other life 31144992

Kennedy Rhodes turns down an acceptance to an elite private school, instead choosing to stay at her high school and jump at the opportunity to date the boy of her dreams. Three years later, Kennedy walks in on that same boyfriend cheating with her best friend—and wishes she had made a different choice. But when Kennedy hits her head and wakes up in the version of her life where she chose to attend the private school, she finds that maybe it’s not as perfect of a world as she once thought.


4.     In Five Years by Rebecca Searle, the author offers another version of waking to a different future, this time through a dream.

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Dannie goes to sleep knowing she is right on track to achieve her five-year plan.

But when she wakes up, she’s suddenly in a different apartment, with a different ring on her finger, and beside a very different man. The television news is on in the background, and she can just make out the scrolling date. It’s the same night—December 15—but 2025, five years in the future.

After a very intense, shocking hour, Dannie wakes again, at the brink of midnight, back in 2020.


5.     Dreams are the focus of The Heavens, of a past life, a novel by Sandra Newman. But here the dream threatens her present life.


From their first meeting, Ben knows Kate is unworldly and fanciful, so at first, he isn’t that concerned when she tells him about the recurring dream she’s had since childhood. In the dream, she’s transported to the past, where she lives a second life as Emilia, the mistress of a nobleman in Elizabethan England.

But for Kate, the dream becomes increasingly real and compelling until it threatens to overwhelm her life. And soon she’s waking from it to find the world changed—pictures on her wall she doesn’t recognize, new buildings in the neighborhood that have sprung up overnight


6.     Both dreams and time travel are the focus Dreamspell by Tamara Leigh, but a time in the past, as well as what is true and what has been altered.


When her research subject dies after trying to convince her he has achieved dream-induced time travel and her study is shelved, she enlists herself as a subject to complete her research. But when she dreams herself into 14th-century England and falls into the hands of Fulke Wynland, a man history has condemned as a murderer, she must not only stay alive long enough to find a way to return to her own time, but prevent Fulke from murdering his young nephews.


In this novel, we are presented with political power, history and a strong woman who must weave her own path through history and even the notion of how truthful is history, which reminds me so much of Hillary Clinton. And so, we are back to Rodham.

17 thoughts on “Six Degrees of Separation – from Rodham to Dreamspell

  1. What a great chain! I love how you took the theme from Rodham and followed through with all these books with alternative realities. I haven’t read any of them, but In Five Years sounds interesting!

  2. Just lovely! As I went through this chain I realized that you could have included “The Vanishing Half” here because it is supposed to be about sisters who are mixed race and one lives as a white woman and the other as a black one. Of course, if you haven’t read it, I understand why you wouldn’t have thought of it. I haven’t read it, but I’ve heard a lot about it.

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