Sorry for the unannounced absence over the last week – I’ve been to Malta on holiday and didn’t get round to scheduling any posts before I left. Anyway, I’m back now and it’s time for another Six Degrees of Separation, hosted by Kate of Books are my Favourite and Best. The idea is that Kate chooses a book to use as a starting point and then we have to link it to six other books of our choice to form a chain. A book doesn’t have to be connected to all of the others on the list – only to the one next to it in the chain.
The first book this month is The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. I have never read this book, but it is described as “the story of an American missionary family in the Congo during a poignant chapter in African history”.
Thinking of other books about missionary families, I’m going to link to a novel I remember really enjoying a few years ago: In a Far Country by Linda Holeman. It is set in India in the 19th century and the heroine, Pree Fincastle, is the daughter of two British missionaries living on a Church of England medical mission in Punjab.
I’ve read most of Linda Holeman’s adult novels and enjoyed them all – the settings are always interesting and beautifully described. My favourite of her books is The Saffron Gate, which is set in Morocco in the 1930s. Morocco is not a country that has featured very often in my reading, but it does provide the setting for another book I loved: The Sultan’s Wife by Jane Johnson.
There are so many books around these days with the word “wife” in the title. Some that I have reviewed on my blog include The Aviator’s Wife, The Tea Planter’s Wife, The Tiger’s Wife and, most recently, The Pharmacist’s Wife. A much earlier example is Mary Elizabeth Braddon’s The Doctor’s Wife, a Victorian novel from 1864 with a similar plot and themes to Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert.
The image on the front cover of the Oxford World’s Classics version of The Doctor’s Wife is apparently called Faraway Thoughts by an unknown artist. Coincidentally, the same image has been used on the cover of one of my current reads, Friday’s Child by Georgette Heyer (although I am reading a different edition).
Friday’s Child, one of Heyer’s Regency romances, follows the early days of a marriage between two young people, Sherry and Hero. This brings to mind another funny and charming novel about a newly-married couple, Little Man, What Now? by Hans Fallada. I loved that book and really wish it was better known!
It’s unusual to find a book with a question mark in the title, but I can think of a few that I’ve read, including Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? by Agatha Christie. I really enjoyed that one – it’s a bit melodramatic and silly, but a lot of fun to read.
And that’s my chain for this month! Have you read any of these books?
Next month, the starting point will be The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell, a book I’ve never read and know nothing about!