Six Degrees of Separation: From Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to Uprooted

It’s the first Saturday of the month which means 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.

This month we are starting with the children’s classic Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. It’s not often that I have read the first book in the chain, but this is one that I have read several times, although not for years.

The character of Alice was inspired by a real life child, Alice Liddell. Melanie Benjamin’s novel, Alice I Have Been (1), is a fictional account of Alice Liddell’s life, with a focus on her relationship with Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) and how her connection with his book changed her life forever.

I have read a few of Melanie Benjamin’s other books and enjoyed them. The Aviator’s Wife (2) is my favourite. It tells the story of Anne Morrow Lindbergh, wife of the famous American aviator Charles Lindbergh and later an accomplished aviator in her own right, as well as a successful author.

Another novel I’ve read about a female aviator, a fictional woman this time, is The Wild Air by Rebecca Mascull (3). Although I’m not particularly interested in aviation myself, I loved Rebecca Mascull’s book – it really made me appreciate just how brave those early pioneers of flying were.

My next link takes the word ‘Wild’ and leads me to The Wilding by Maria McCann (4), a historical mystery set in 17th century England and narrated by a young man who works as a cider-maker.

With its recreation of life in a small rural community and the descriptions of orchards and trees and apple-pressing, The Wilding shares some themes with The Woodlanders by Thomas Hardy (5). The Woodlanders is one of my favourite Hardy novels; I loved getting to know the people who built their lives in and around the woods of Little Hintock.

My final link is to another book in which a wood plays an important part in the story: Uprooted by Naomi Novik (6). Uprooted is a fantasy novel set in a village under threat from evil forces gathering in The Wood, a sinister place which is much more than just a collection of trees!


Well, that’s my chain for this month, with links including Alice Liddell, female aviators, the word ‘Wild’, apples and woods. Next month we will be starting with Jane Austen’s unfinished manuscript, Sanditon.

17 thoughts on “Six Degrees of Separation: From Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to Uprooted

  1. says:

    Beginning with Alice in Wonderland (which I’ve heard one must re-read as an adult in order to pick up on all the nuances), I move to THE ALICE NETWORK by Kate Quinn,, a novel about a net work of women in espionage during the Great War (WWI).

    Next just off the top of my head are Mary Alice Monroe’s numerous beach reads, novels set on the Carolina coast.

    With beaches on my mind, I move to COCOA BEACH by Beatriz Williams, set in the early 1920s, which leads to A HUNDRED SUMMERS, also by Beatriz Williams, this one set in Rhode Island and features the Hurricane of ’38, so devastating that it changed the northeastern coastland forever. In Europe, another hurricane was brewing, stirred up by Hitler.

    THE SUMMER BEFORE THE WAR by Helen Simonson paints a picture of England’s brief Edwardian summer in East Sussex in 1914.

    All of these title I re-read this past summer and probably will again when I need a “beach escape” in deep, mid-winter.

    • Helen says:

      I do want to re-read Alice in Wonderland so I can pick up on all those nuances I’m sure I missed when I was younger! I enjoyed The Summer Before the War, but I haven’t read any of the other books you’ve mentioned. The two Beatriz Williams books sound interesting – I’ve never read anything by her before, but she’s an author I would like to try.

  2. Constance says:

    I have been meaning to real Melanie Benjamin but was hesitating – yours is a good endorsement. But it’s the Wild Air and Wilding that really intrigue me from this list! I am not a Hardy fan, although have tried a couple times. And I gave that Naomi Novik book to my sister for her birthday; I am not sure she ever told me what she thought.

    I finished my chain but haven’t posted it yet. Later today!

    • Helen says:

      I can’t remember much about The Wilding now, but The Wild Air was a more recent read and I really loved it. Thomas Hardy is one of my favourite authors, but I completely understand why he doesn’t appeal to everyone.

      I’ll come across and visit your chain!

  3. Judy Krueger says:

    I have read the first book and the last! I plan someday to read The Aviator’s Wife and Alice I Have Been. Great chain!

  4. Davida Chazan says:

    These are two of Melanie Benjamin’s books I haven’t read. In fact, I only recently discovered her. By the way, if you were looking for another female aviator, you could have gone with Nina in The Huntress by Kate Quinn. She’s not the main character, but she’s one of my favorite characters of ALL TIME! Highly recommended.

  5. buffywnabe says:

    I know that Alice I Have Been is kind of what the author of one of the books on my list said inspired her to write her series. This is my first time joining into this, so you can see how I interpreted this idea HERE.

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