Saturday, 7 May 2022

Six Degrees of Separation ~ From True History of the Kelly Gang to The Glass Castle

 True History of the Kelly Gang
Carey, Peter "True History of the Kelly Gang" - 2001

#6Degrees of Separation:
from True History of the Kelly Gang to The Glass Castle

#6Degrees is a monthly link-up hosted by Kate at Books Are My Favourite and Best. I love the idea. See more about this challenge, its history, further books and how I found this here.

This month's prompt starts with True History of the Kelly Gang by Peter Carey.

I haven't always read the starter book of this challenge, but this time I have. If I hadn't read it, I probably would have gone with a story about a gangster, a villain. But since I did, I see it in a different way. The Kelly kids had a bad upbringing. When he was twelve, Ned Kelly lost his father and had to care for five younger and two elder siblings. 

I have read quite a few books like that and I could put them together in all sorts of different ways, geographically, whether they had just terrible parents or grew up in a society that didn't give them a chance. Or whether they led a decent life in the end or ended up in prison. I just thought, the easiest way was to go by alphabet.

Abulhawa, Susan "Mornings in Jenin" - 2010
This is a heartbreaking novel that shows hatred and tear but also love and joy, that shows how people struggle even through the biggest hardships and some make it through nevertheless.  You will no longer see the world in Black and White, the Palestinians as the bad guys and the Jews as the poor people who only want peace.

Ashworth, Andrea "Once in a House on Fire" - 1999 
The author describes her youth in a penniless household full of violence and other problems. Her depressive mother sends the family through a series of stepfathers, none of whom can be describe as "normal" family members. I just admire Andrea for what she achieved despite all the problems.

Cullen, Bill "It’s a Long Way From Penny Apples" - 2003
The story of an Irish boy who grew up in poverty and made it to one of the top businessmen in Ireland.

Frandi-Coory, Anne "Whatever Happened to Ishtar?: A Passionate Quest To Find Answers For Generations Of Defeated Mothers" - 2010
How much can a person endure? This heart-rendering account the author's life is a proof that we can live through a lot of hardship and still turn out to be passionate and affectionate people.


Ung, Loung "First They Killed My Father. A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers" - 2000
The author told the story from her perspective as a child and how she changed during that time. How much she had to go through, the death of her family and much more.

Walls, Jeannette "The Glass Castle" - 2005  
What would you do if your childhood was more than extraordinary, when you tried everything to escape it and finally manage to get out? From growing up on the street to becoming a top journalist, the author describes her amazing life.

Most of these books teach us a couple of things: War is bad! But often not doing good things is just as negative as doing bad things, like not helping your neighbours or anyone you know who is in a difficult situation can be just as terrible, especially for the children who live among us. We should all try to be nicer and more helpful to anyone who might need it.

Look for further monthly separation posts here

16 comments:

  1. Lots of suffering and showing different sides of history here. A very powerful chain!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Davida. I think only if the writer suffered during their childhood, will it become such a popular book. If you had a normal childhood, there's not much to tell. Ned Kelly just reminded me of all the other books like this that I read.

      Delete
  2. You are so right--the upbringing. I knew nothing of this having not read the book. The blurb--ok, but it is never the whole story, is it? The Glass Castle--wow. I lived in Malawi and went places that (then) few white foreigners ever went. I saw unimaginable poverty, but to me The Glass Castle tells a story in line with that. Those ridiculous, selfish parents! GREAT, interesting chain.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Hopewell. We don't know why some people do well even with a bad upbringing, others do badly even with a good one. But reading books like that makes us more empathic towards those who ended up like Ned Kelly.

      Do you have a blog? I don't seem to be able to get to it.

      Anyway, thanks for your comment.

      Delete
  3. I always want to clench my fists and jump up and down when people say they don't want to read books that present such bleak lives. I wish more people would realize that we need to read these books precisely because societies continue to allow children to live in such deplorable conditions. Thank you for this enlightening reminder.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know exactly what you mean, Mary. Thanks. Same with war stories. We need to learn about it so history doesn't repeat itself. And we need to learn about these lives in order to feel empathy towards those people. And, as my link shows, these lives occur everywhere, not just, especially not that far away from us. We need to keep our eyes open.

      Delete
  4. Did you enjoy the Kelly Gang book? Ned is either a bad egg or a hero over here.
    That was a creative 6 degrees of separation!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's been a long time since i read it, Carol. But I still remember it well. Yes, I did like it, it was well written and I learned a little of this history. Ned Kelly isn't all that well known in Europe.

      I often take the titles of books to do the chain and thought that here I didn't really create a real "chain" rather than a subject like in Top Ten Tuesday. So, I'm glad yo many of you approve. Thanks.

      Delete
  5. The actual history of the Kelly family is very interesting. We went on a tour of one of the jails he was held in. We also heard his mother and sisters stories which was very interesting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can imagine, Marg. I will have to see whether there is a book about them. Thanks for the hint.

      Have you written anything about your tour? If yes, please, let me have the link.

      Delete
  6. I've been meaning to read more on Ned Kelly for ages.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can highly recommend this book, Sarah. It's written as if it comes from Ned Kelly personally. So, don't look at it too closely with teacher's eyes. LOL

      Delete
  7. I've read some of these, but the one that's most memorable is First, They Killed My Father. I used to teach children from Cambodian refugee families and so many of them had had similar experiences. Just dreadful...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, wow. I don't think I've ever met anyone from Cambodia but it's always hard to try to help refugees. It's easy to give them something to eat, a place to live, clothes, but to give them some sort of trust in this world again, that's almost impossible. So, thanks for doing what you did, Lisa.

      Delete
  8. Replies
    1. I know, Emma. That's what happens when the first book starts out like that and you don't go with names or words in the title. Still, it was a good way to reminisce and see how good a life I had, even though we were poor.

      Delete