Saturday, March 4, 2023

Six Degree of Separation, from Passages to Rebecca

Six Degrees of Separation is a meme, now hosted by Kate @ books are my favorite and best.
On the first Saturday of every month, a book is chosen as a starting point and linked to six other books to form a chain. Readers and bloggers are invited to join in by creating their own ‘chain’ leading from the selected book.

This month we start from a book I haven't read:

0. Passages by Gail Sheehy

Subtitle: Predictable Crises of Adult Life

A non fiction self-help book about how one manage each life crisis occurred during one's lifetime. Either we are entering our 20s, 30s, or even 70s or 80s, there would be changes in every phase, which might turn into crises. Quoting from Goodreads synopsis: "You'll see how to use each life crisis as an opportunity for creative change." Creative change (during a life crisis) is the key to my first chain, that leads to a book I've read two years ago:

The book is about a group of elderly residents of a retirement village who turn into sleuths. Each of the four faces her/his own life crisis, from loneliness, physical limitation, to taking care of a dementia spouse. But they don't succumb to inactivity. On the contrary, they turn their helplessness into creativity - solving murders. Who would have thought that four helpless elderly could fight against murderer(s)? They are the most unlikely group of sleuths you'd ever get! My second chain is another unlikely sleuths duo, who come from much younger generation:

This is a children (teenager?) murder mystery, with two English schoolgirls in 1930s become sleuth. The book I read is the fifth of the series, and it contains beautiful perfect Christmas vibes while they are solving a murder during Christmas holiday in snowy Cambridge. Another book I've read last year with the same beautiful Christmas vibes is:

This is a perfect Christmas book - equal to A Christmas Carol - which speak about love, family, and forgiveness. A wealthy but cantankerous and bitter widower hired poor children to enliven his mansion on Christmas. That he was alone, is entirely his own fault. He banished her daughter after her elopement, and hence the separation between father and daughter. Although of different circumstances, these father and daughter in my fourth chain are also separated, which caused their unhappiness:

Jane unhappily spent her early years with her mother in her grandmother's snobbish, cold house, always thinking her father is dead. It turns out he's alive, and now invites her to stay the summer with him in a small village of Lantern Hill. The beautiful scenery and the sense of freedom enables her to love. And with love, her personality changes. It's astonishing how nature compels one to love. At first I thought it might be a bit exaggerated, but the next book I read was surprisingly shared similar theme, and so I picked it to be my fifth chain:

Four dissimilar women rent a medieval castle in Italy with beautiful scenery for a month. Each has her own reason to escape life routine, and spent a rejuvenating holiday. Nature is an important role in this story. Two of the women - Mrs. Wilkins and Mrs. Arbuthnot - arrived in the dark of the night, and on the way up to the castle, were first welcomed by profusion of flowers, which they realized the next morning to be wisterias.

"All down the stone steps on either side were periwinkle in full flower, and [Mrs Arbuthnot] could now see what it was that had caught at her the night before and brushed, wet and scented, across her face. It was wisteria."

I felt that the wisterias isn't just flowers here, it's almost like a character of its own, symbolizes warmth and love from mother nature. And that reminds me of another book, in which flowers also becomes character to the story. And this will become my last chain:

Like the two women in The Enchanted April, on her first arrival at her new home, Manderley, Mrs. de Winter was also "welcomed" by the profusion of rhododendrons.

"...on either side of us was a wall of colour, blood-red, reaching far above our heads. We were amongst the rhododendrons. [...] They startled me with their crimson faces, massed one upon the other in incredible profusion..."

The rhododendrons represent the enigmatic Rebecca with her strong destructive passionate personality. How much different it is with the tenderness of the wisterias in The Enchanted April, with its capability of rehabilitation; but nonetheless, each flower has its own power on our protagonists.


I was so satisfied by how these chain turn out beautifully. I've thought this one will be slightly difficult because we have a non fiction for the starter, but it turned out to be the easiest and best one I've worked out so far!


  1. I've heard of your first and last links, but never read them. I like how you linked each of them.

    1. Thanks, Davida. I hope you'll get to read them soon, especially Rebecca!

  2. Lovely chain. I always enjoying seeing how one books sparks thoughts of another. I reallty loved how you pulled out the flowers and their significance in Enchanted April vs Rebecca. Nicely done.

    1. Thanks, Jane! It's really fun to have found the link about the flowers.

  3. I love your selection of books and Rebecca has always been one of my favorites!

    Have a lovely March.

    Elza Reads

    1. Thanks, Elza. Rebecca is on my favorite list too.

  4. Very neat!
    I would never have thought of connecting Passages to Osaman's book, even though it's on my table right now, but indeed that works very well!
    I had forgotten the rhododendrons in Rebecca!! Well done

    1. Thanks, Emma. The rhododendrons is one aspect I always associate with Rebecca, LOL!
      Would love to hear your thoughts on Osaman's book, though..

  5. Lovely chain with two of my favourite books, Jane of Lantern Hill and The Enchanted April. I've read the second book of the Thirsday Murder Club and enjoyed it very much but am yet to read this one!

    1. Thanks, Mallika. And I am yet to read the second book - it seems to be a wonderful series!


What do you think?