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 Fleishman is in Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner, a book I haven’t read and hadn’t even heard of until now. It’s a novel “about marriage, divorce and modern relationships” and doesn’t really sound very appealing to me.
My first link is to another book about the breakdown of a marriage, Someone at a Distance by Dorothy Whipple (1), in which the arrival of a young Frenchwoman causes trouble for Ellen North and her husband Avery. The edition I read was the Persephone Classic pictured above.
The first book published by Persephone that I ever read was Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day by Winifred Watson (2) and although I’ve read others since that I thought were much better, I did find that one a lovely, magical story. I would love to have a day like the one Miss Pettigrew has in that book!
South Riding (3) was also written by an author with the name Winifred – Winifred Holtby. South Riding is set in a fictional Yorkshire community in the 1930s and I remember being completely absorbed in the lives of the characters who live there.
Winifred Holtby was a close friend of Vera Brittain, whom she met at university. Testament of Youth (4) is the first part of Vera Brittain’s memoir, covering the years 1900-1925 and describing her experiences as a VAD nurse during the First World War. I highly recommend reading this book if you haven’t already, but prepare to have your heart broken.
The word ‘testament’ leads me to The Testament of Gideon Mack by James Robertson (5), an unusual, imaginative novel about a man who claims to have met the Devil. I enjoyed it, but the book which inspired it is much better…
The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner by James Hogg (6) also tells the story of a man who meets a mysterious stranger who may or may not be the Devil. I loved this weird and wonderful novel, which was first published in 1824.
And that’s my chain for February. The links included marriage and divorce, books published by Persephone, authors with the name Winifred, a friendship between two authors, the word ‘testament’ and a meeting with the Devil. Next month, we are beginning with Lucy Treloar’s Wolfe Island – another book I haven’t read.