Six Degrees of Separation: Passages in an Overcrowded Mind

Posted March 5, 2023 by elzaread in 6 Degrees of separation / 17 Comments

Greetings you guys! Welcome to Six Degrees of Separation. I know we’ve said that we will not miss any Six Degrees this year and we’ve already missed February’s. To be quite honest, we’ve rather skipped February as a whole this year. But hopefully March is going to be so much better.

For those of you who don’t know this fun monthly meme, it’s hosted by Books are my favorite and Best and here’s a few tips and ideas:

Books can be linked in obvious ways – for example, books by the same authors, from the same era or genre, or books with similar themes or settings. Or, you may choose to link them in more personal ways: books you read on the same holiday, books given to you by a particular friend, books that remind you of a particular time in your life, or books you read for an online challenge.

A book doesn’t need to be connected to all the other books on the list, only to the ones next to them in the chain.

The fun thing about this meme, is that no two chains are ever the same and the directions the links can go to, are endless.

As you can see from our heading, this month’s chain will be nothing but a few crazy ideas thrown together to make a chain. Let’s see if it can be stronghold.

Our starting point for this month:

At last, this is your story. You’ll recognize yourself, your friends, and your loves. You’ll see how to use each life crisis as an opportunity for creative change — to grow to your full potential. Gail Sheehy’s brilliant road map of adult life shows the inevitable personality and sexual changes we go through in our 20s, 30s, 40s, and beyond. The Trying 20s — The safety of home left behind, we begin trying on life’s uniforms and possible partners in search of the perfect fit. The Catch 30s — illusions shaken, it’s time to make, break, or deepen life commitments. The Forlorn 40s — Dangerous years when the dreams of youth demand reassessment, men and women switch characteristics, sexual panic is common, but the greatest opportunity for self-discovery awaits. The Refreshed (or Resigned) 50s — Best of life for those who let go old roles and find a renewal of purpose.

This book was first published 2 years before my Mommy was born and in 44 years, she’s never heard of it. Should we try to find a copy of it?

First Degree:

Our first link today will use the word passage: A Passage to India by E.M. Forster – When Adela Quested and her elderly companion Mrs Moore arrive in the Indian town of Chandrapore, they quickly feel trapped by its insular and prejudiced ‘Anglo-Indian’ community. Determined to escape the parochial English enclave and explore the ‘real India’, they seek the guidance of the charming and mercurial Dr Aziz, a cultivated Indian Muslim. But a mysterious incident occurs while they are exploring the Marabar caves with Aziz, and the well-respected doctor soon finds himself at the centre of a scandal that rouses violent passions among both the British and their Indian subjects. A masterful portrait of a society in the grip of imperialism, A Passage to India compellingly depicts the fate of individuals caught between the great political and cultural conflicts of the modern world.

We haven’t read this classic yet, hopefully one day we will still get to it. A classic that is also set in India that we have read and loved, will take us to our second degree.

Second Degree:

The Far Pavilions by M.M. Kaye – A magnificent romantic/historical/adventure novel set in India at the time of mutiny. The Far Pavilions is a story of 19th Century India, when the thin patina of English rule held down dangerously turbulent undercurrents. It is a story about and English man – Ashton Pelham-Martyn – brought up as a Hindu and his passionate, but dangerous love for an Indian princess. It’s a story of divided loyalties, of tender camaraderie, of greedy imperialism and of the clash between east and west. To the burning plains and snow-capped mountains of this great, humming continent, M.M. Kaye brings her quite exceptional gift of immediacy and meticulous historical accuracy, plus her insight into the human heart.

We loved this book so much and my Mommy has another book by M.M. Kaye on the shelf that she hasn’t actually read yet. I think that can take us to our third degree.

Third Degree:

Shadow of the Moon by M.M. Kaye – The author of THE FAR PAVILIONS returns us once again to the vast, intoxicating romance of India under the British Raj. SHADOW OF THE MOON is the story of Winter de Ballesteros, a beautiful English heiress come home to her beloved India. It is also the tale of Captain Alex Randall, her protector, who aches to possess her. Forged in the fires of a war that threatens to topple an empire, their tale is the saga of a desperate and unforgettable love that consumes all in its thrall. Filled with the mystery of moonlit palace gardens and the whisperings of passion and intrigue, M. M. Kaye evokes an era at once of its time, yet timeless.

It really does sound like a lovely read that I know my Mommy will enjoy. We really do need to start reading books from our own shelves a bit more!

The title and cover of our third degree, is leading us to our fourth degree:

Fourth Degree:

The Moon Sister (The Seven Sisters #5) by Lucinda Riley – Tiggy D’Aplièse spends her days experiencing the raw beauty of the Scottish Highlands doing a job she loves at a deer sanctuary. But when the sanctuary is forced to close, she is offered a job as a wildlife consultant on the vast and isolated estate of the elusive and troubled laird, Charlie Kinnaird. She has no idea that the move will not only irrevocably alter her future, but also bring her face-to-face with her past.

At the estate, she meets Chilly, a gypsy who fled from Spain seventy years before. He tells her that not only does she possess a sixth sense passed down from her ancestors, but it was foretold long ago that he would be the one to send her back home…

In 1912, in the poor gypsy community outside the city walls of Granada, Lucía Amaya-Albaycin is born. Destined to be the greatest flamenco dancer of her generation—and named La Candela, due to the inner flame that burns through her when she dances— Lucía is whisked away by her ambitious and talented guitarist father at the tender age of ten to dance in the flamenco bars of Barcelona. Her mother is devastated by the loss of her daughter and as civil war threatens in Spain, tragedy strikes the rest of her family. Now in Madrid, Lucía and her troupe of dancers are forced to flee for their lives, their journey taking them far across the water to South America and eventually, to North America and New York—Lucía’s long-held dream. But to pursue it, she must choose between her passion for her career and the man she adores. The Moon Sister follows these two women on their journey to discover their true futures—but at the risk of potentially losing the men they had hoped to build futures with.

The Seven Sisters Series is extremely popular in my Mommy’s Book Club and all the ladies love them. We are very excited for the last one coming out in April! And now we are actually stuck with our chain… Hmmm… Okay, let’s repeat a theme. Another book by the same author we have on the shelf, but haven’t actually read yet.

Fifth Degree:

The Murders at Fleat House by Lucinda Riley – The Murders at Fleat House is a suspenseful and utterly compelling crime novel from the multi-million copy global bestseller, Lucinda Riley.

The sudden death of a pupil in Fleat House at St Stephen’s – a small private boarding school in deepest Norfolk – is a shocking event that the headmaster is very keen to call a tragic accident.

But the local police cannot rule out foul play and the case prompts the return of high-flying Detective Inspector Jazmine ‘Jazz’ Hunter to the force. Jazz has her own private reasons for stepping away from her police career in London, but reluctantly agrees to front the investigation as a favour to her old boss.

Reunited with her loyal sergeant Alastair Miles, she enters the closed world of the school, and as Jazz begins to probe the circumstances surrounding Charlie Cavendish’s tragic death, events are soon to take another troubling turn.

Charlie is exposed as an arrogant bully, and those around him had both motive and opportunity to switch the drugs he took daily to control his epilepsy.

As staff at the school close ranks, the disappearance of young pupil Rory Millar and the death of an elderly Classics master provide Jazz with important leads, but are destined to complicate the investigation further. As snow covers the landscape and another suspect goes missing, Jazz must also confront her personal demons . . .

Then, a particularly grim discovery at the school makes this the most challenging murder investigation of her career. Because Fleat House hides secrets darker than even Jazz could ever have imagined . . .

Okay, so what to do with our last degree? Let’s repeat the first link and go with a word from our last book and the theme of books we have, but haven’t read yet:

Sixth Degree: 

Moonflower Murders (Susan Ryeland #2) by Anthony Horowitz – Featuring his famous literary detective Atticus Pund and Susan Ryeland, hero of the worldwide bestseller Magpie Murders, a brilliantly complex literary thriller with echoes of Agatha Christie from New York Times bestselling author Anthony Horowitz.

Retired publisher Susan Ryeland is living the good life. She is running a small hotel on a Greek island with her long-term boyfriend Andreas. It should be everything she’s always wanted. But is it? She’s exhausted with the responsibilities of making everything work on an island where nothing ever does, and truth be told she’s beginning to miss London.

And then the Trehernes come to stay. The strange and mysterious story they tell, about an unfortunate murder that took place on the same day and in the same hotel in which their daughter was married—a picturesque inn on the Suffolk coast named Branlow Hall—fascinates Susan and piques her editor’s instincts.

One of her former writers, the late Alan Conway, author of the fictional Magpie Murders, knew the murder victim—an advertising executive named Frank Parris—and once visited Branlow Hall. Conway based the third book in his detective series, Atticus Pund Takes the Cake, on that very crime.

The Trehernes’ daughter, Cecily, read Conway’s mystery and believed the book proves that the man convicted of Parris’s murder—a Romanian immigrant who was the hotel’s handyman—is innocent. When the Trehernes reveal that Cecily is now missing, Susan knows that she must return to England and find out what really happened.

Brilliantly clever, relentlessly suspenseful, full of twists that will keep readers guessing with each revelation and clue, Moonflower Murders is a deviously dark take on vintage English crime fiction from one of its greatest masterminds, Anthony Horowitz.

Ha, and there’s our chain! I don’t think it will be able to withstand a severe storm, it might be more like those Christmas decorations paper chains we’ve all made in Kindergarten. Do they still do that? At least we now see how many books we actually still have that needs to be read. *sigh* This is a never ending challenge…

We wish you all a lovely March and remember to link your chains and visit your fellow bloggers!

Lots of Love,

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17 responses to “Six Degrees of Separation: Passages in an Overcrowded Mind

  1. A Passage to India was my starting point too, but there on, we’ve gone such different ways! I did love Magpie Murders and hope to read Moonflower Murders at some point. I enjoyed The Far Pavillions too, but at the time I read, it was just following lots of Kipling reads so the similarities dampened my enjoyment just a little bit.

  2. A fun mix of books! I think the Moon Sisters was my least favorite but I love the series and can’t wait to read the Pa Salt book. I do want to read more books by her too. I also want to read Anthony Horowitz’s books. I have a few on my shelf.

    • Hi Katherine! There were certain things in all the Seven Series Books that I’ve really liked, but yes – The Moon Sister wasn’t my favorite either. So far, it will have to be The Sun Sister. And The Storm Sister.

      I loved Magpie Murders and just know you will too!

      elzaread recently posted: The Sunday Post #91
  3. Cool chain.. I have been meaning to read Passage to India since forever now.. and your post serves as a reminder 🙂 M. M. Kaye is a new to me author and now I am going to look for those books you mentioned..

  4. Oh Wow! Another M.M. Kaye fan. Shadow of the Moon and Trade Wind were also great, but The Far Pavilions will always remain my favourit.

  5. What a great chain! The Far Pavilions is one of my favourite books and Shadow of the Moon is almost as good, so I’m sure you’ll enjoy it. I’m also looking forward to the new Seven Sisters book and have been reading The Murders at Fleat House while I’m waiting!

    • Hi Helen!

      Aah yea for a fellow reader! Always good to connect with people who like to read the same books. I really want to read The Murders at Fleat House and think I might just follow your example and read it before Pa Salt comes out. Here in SA, it’s the first week in May.

      elzaread recently posted: The Sunday Post #91
  6. Wendy

    I love the chain. I have only read one book by Lucinda Reilly. But I need to read more by her

  7. What a lovely chain you have here! And I like how the graphics turned out as well – very eye catching. As for Passages… if you like self-help books, you might want to read it. Not my thing, to be honest. I’ve read some of these authors, but not Anthony Horowitz, and I think I might like him. Brava!