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 The Turn of the Screw by Henry James. In it a governess becomes increasingly convinced her two charges are possessed by spirits.
Another tale portraying the somewhat unenviable life of a governess, though one not having to deal with ghosts, is Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte. Whilst the love affair may not be as famous as that dreamed up by her sister, the story of Agnes, settling herself as instructress to other people’s children is a quietly impacting novel, that is all the more emotive due to it’s foundations in the reality Anne Bronte had lived.
Different grey this time and Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde (I bet you thought I was going for one of those other grey books…). Eddie Russett lives in the future, after the Something that Happened. Social higherarchy is determined by how you see colour. When Eddie falls in love with a lowly Grey called Jane, who just happens to want him killed, he discovers that life is more shades of grey than black and white. Jasper Fforde’s catalogue includes the frankly brilliant Thursday Next series, the Nursery Crimes series and his latest, The Constant Rabbit.
Wed Wabbit by Lissa Evans was shortlisted for the Cilip Carnegie Medal and the Costa Children’s Book Prize. Fidge has wound up in a strange world with two weird companions and her awful cousin Graham. She finds herself facing a cruel dictator and three thousand Wimbey Woos before she can get back home.
The winner of the Cilip Carnegie Medal that year was Where the World Ends by Geraldine McCaughrean. Each year Quill and his friends are put on an island to count birds. Only this year they aren’t collected.
The Telephone Box at the End of the World by Laura Imai Messina, sees Yui struggling to cope with the loss of her daughter and mother in the Tsunami. When she hears about a phone box in a village in the mountains, said to be a place where the grieving can speak to their lost loved ones, she decides to visit. Little does she know just how life changing such a gentle and thoughtful place be for those who visit.
In Letters to the Lost by Iona Grey, there is a different type of communication with the past. Dan and Stella met during the war. Separated, Dan has never forgotten Stella. He sends a letter to Stella at the address they last shared. That letter is found by Jess, who wants to help Dan and Stella before it’s too late.
So there we have it, from possessed children to a long lost love affair in six faltering steps. Surprisingly I’ve actually read three of the books. Have you read any? Where would your steps take you? Do let me know.