Six Degrees of Separation – From Rodham to The Bell Jar

Six Degrees of Separation is the brainchild of Kate from Books Are My Favourite and My Best. Each month there is a different starter book and through six books, with what can be, on my part, extremely tenuous links,  you see which book you end up at.

The starter book this month is Rodham by Curtis Sittenfeld, a fictionalised imaging of what may have happened had Hiliary Rodham not met Bill Clinton. Curtis Sittenfeld also wrote Eligible, part of the Austen Project by Borough Press, a reimagining of Pride and Prejudice.

Another Austen Project book was Sense and Sensibility by Joanna Trollope, a moderinsed telling of Elianor and Marianne Dashwood and their trials and tribulations in love after the death of their father.

Another Trollope, this time Anthony and Barchester Towers. In it, there is a battle over who will succeed the Bishop of Barchester as he lays dying.

Angela Thirkell borrowed Barsetshire from Anthony Trollope as the setting for 29 of her books, the first one being High Rising. In it, Laura Morland visits High Rising and tries to thwart the cunning plans of Miss Grey, threaten to upset everything in the village.

High Rising has been republished by Virago as part of their modern classics series. Another book published by them, with the eponymous green spines is No Signposts in the Sea by Vita Sackville-West. In it, Edmund Carr finds he doesn’t have long left to live. He leaves his job and boards a cruise ship, where he knows Laura, whom he secretly admires will be.

The Sea, the Sea by Iris Murdoch sees Charles Arrowby retiring to the sea and taking up a new occupation: destroying the marriage of his childhood sweetheart. Other novels by Murdoch include Under the Net and The Bell.

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath sees Esther Greenwood win an internship at a New York fashion magazine. As life gets busier Esther finds herself spiralling into depresession.

So there we have it, from a re-imagined telling of the life of a former first lady to a New Yorker’s descent into depression in 6 very wonky steps, and I’ve actually read one of them! Where would your six degrees take you? Have you read any of the books? Do let me know.



6 Comments Add yours

  1. MarinaSofia says:

    Tenuous but interesting links, Janet! So which of these have you read?I certainly have not read much of Angela Thirkell and would like to remedy that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. janetemson says:

      I’ve read Sense & Sensibility. I have some Thirkell on my TBR which I really need to get to sooner rather than later.


  2. Not as tenuous as you might think – the Anthony Trollope is Joanna Trollope’s ancestor.


  3. Great links Janet – I’d never heard of Trollope’s version of Sense and Sensibility before!


  4. Very intriguing chain! I did enjoy No Signposts in the Sea!


  5. Love this! What a fun idea!


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