Six Degrees of Separation: April 2018 – from Memoirs of a Geisha to The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox

I spotted this meme on the outstanding blogs of Susan at A Life in Books and Marina at Finding Time to Write. If you haven’t visited their blogs I’d recommend you do for insightful reviews, bookish observations and original poetry. The meme was created by Kate at Books Are My Favourite and Best.

From what I can gather each month starts from a different book and the aim is to move from the initial book to the sixth book with one link from the previous title. The books don’t have to be linked to each other, just the one before.

The starter book this month is Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden. I read this book many years ago and adored it, the memory of it and the emotions it evoked still remain over a decade later. This is a fictionalised story of a woman, raised from a young age, in the art of being a Geisha.

Also set in Japan is Nagasaki by Eric Faye. This short novella is tells the tale of Shimura Kobo who begins to notice that food is going missing from his house. Because he lives on his own he finds this obviously disturbing and sets up a webcam to catch the thief in action. What he discovers is more than he could have imagined. Nagasaki is based on a true story from events that happened in 2008.

Borrowing from that last sentence we move to Based on a True Story by Delphine De Vigan. A work of fiction which has autobiographical leanings given the name and occupation of the central character, the book tells the tale of Delphine, who, suffering from writer’s block. She meets L who soon becomes an integral, and sinister, part of Delphine’s life.

From fictionalised truth to actual facts, The Fact of the Body by Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich shows Alexandria working on a retrial for death-row convicted murderer and child molester, Ricky Langley. It is described as a look at how the law is made up of individual stories and is for fans of such TV shows as Making a Murderer and the podcast Serial.

Also taking inspiration from the popular podcasts such as Serial is Six Stories by Matt Wesolowski. Told over a series of podcasts the story looks at the death of Tom Jeffries, who disappeared from an outward bound centre. The story follows the six podcasts, interviewing the teenagers who were present when Tom disappeared. The outdoors is very much a part of this story, the bleak countryside adding to the atmosphere.

Also set in the bleak countryside with a mystery at it’s core is The Vanishing by Sophia Tobin. Annaleigh Calvert has to leave behind all she has ever known in London and travel to Yorkshire. There, at White Windows, nestled on the Moors, she is to be the housekeeper to the Twentymans, Marcus, the lonesome master and his widow sister Hester. But Annaleigh soon realises that the inhabitants of White Windows are not as they first seem and White Windows may not be her escape after all.

There’s a vanishing of a different kind in The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox by Maggie O’Farrell. In 1930s Edinburgh Esme Lennox is an embarrassment to her family. Years later Iris Lockhart is told her great-aunt Esme, unknown to her, is about to be released from a psychiatric unit.

So there we have it from Japanese geisha houses to the English psychiatric units in six extremely tenuous steps. Where would you six degrees take you?

9 Comments Add yours

  1. MarinaSofia says:

    Very elegantly done, Janet – it looks so effortless!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. janetemson says:

      As does yours! I did nearly use a book I had used in a previous Six Degrees so quickly had to find a replacement 🙂


  2. Such a unique idea. Love this. (And nice job with it.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. janetemson says:

      Thanks, I wish I could take credit but it’s all Kate’s brilliant idea. It is lots of fun 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Great links! The Vanishing sounds like an atmospheric read I’ll have to pick up in the future.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. janetemson says:

      I really enjoyed it, and it is atmopsheric. I hope you like it if you read it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Nicely done, Janet. I loved Based on a True Story, riveting stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. janetemson says:

      I’ve not read it but it does sound intriguing!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think you’d love it.

        Liked by 1 person

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