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.