Six Degrees of Separation – from Flowers in the Attic to The Rules of Civility


It’s time for #6Degrees – join in! Link up!

We begin this month’s chain with the controversial eighties best-seller by V. C. Andrews, Flowers in the Attic. It’s truly a diabolical book and in 1987, I couldn’t put it down.

Like Flowers, I read I’ll Take Manhattan by Judith Krantz, while I really should have been studying.

I’ll Take Manhattan is about the cutthroat world of magazine publishing, as is Lauren Weisberger’s The Devil Wears Prada.

I think the best thing I can say about Devil is that Meryl Streep was extraordinary in the movie version. And it is a rare case of the movie being far better than the book. The same can be said for Isak Dinesen’s memoir, Out of Africa. I love the movie, which also starred Meryl Streep.

Out of Africa is set in Kenya, as is White Mischief by James Fox. Again, the movie version of this book was terrific, and its opening scene left me with a lasting impression of glamorous (but no doubt inaccurate) colonial living in the 1920s.

When it comes to glamour and frivolous lifestyles, it’s hard to go past Winifred Watson’s charming novel, Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day.

Miss Pettigrew was published in 1938. Which brings to mind another Art-Deco-New-York story, set in 1938, The Rules of Civility by Amor Towles.

From tawdry brother-sister relations, to publishing in New York, to Africa and back to New York – where will other chains take us?

Next month (October 1st, 2016), and in honour of the imminent release of his first new novel in more than a decade, the chain will begin with the book that started it all for Jonathan Safran Foer – Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.


16 responses

    • I think it has been around a while – there was talk of a movie (it would be a gorgeous movie) but I just had a quick hunt around and everything leads to ‘in development’ which I suspect is code for ‘not happening anymore…’

  1. I haven’t read Flowers in the Attic – I don’t think I’ll bother! My chain went from New York and ended back in America too, via a different route. I agree that the movies of The Devil Wears Prada and Out of Africa are better than the books – although I’ve only read the beginning of Isak Dinesen’s memoir.

    • No, don’t go out of your way to read Flowers! (If they made one of those “1000 Books You Must Read…” and the list was focused on “1000 Pop Culture Classics You Must Read…” then I reckon Flowers would be on it, but otherwise, know that it is terrible).

      Dinesen’s memoir was fine but the film was visually stunning and remains one of my favourites.

      Thanks for joining in!

      • The film I like more than the book is — hmm, the book here was called Miss Smilla’s feeling for snow (in the US Smilla’s sense of snow) but I can’t recollect the film title. I quite enjoyed the book but am not a bit genre reader and thought the film was much tighter, particularly in latter part of the book. I’ve seen Devil and Africa but not read either.

  2. Pingback: Six Degrees of Separation, from Flowers in the Attic to… | ANZ LitLovers LitBlog

  3. I think I might give this a go next month Kate. I’ve read Extremely loud and incredibly close for a start, and I think I have an idea for the linking book. That’s a start isn’t it?

    I do enjoy these memes – though I’m not generally into memes. Great fun to see how different readers minds wander!

    • Please join us! I usually find that if the first link pops into your head, the others follow quickly after that. I do enjoy reading about people’s very personal/unique links between books. And rest assured, this isn’t a very taxing meme (because it’s only once a month and there are no rules!).

  4. Flowers was definitely the book everyone in my class in school read alongside Catcher in the Rye of course. I’ve never read Out of Africa though seen the film a few times – you just saved me adding to my TBR because I was thinking of getting the book but if the movie is better I’ll stick with that

  5. I wrote my Six Degrees post a million years ago and completely forgot about it! I’ll post it tomorrow.
    I haven’t read any of these – but I did love Out of Africa the film (maybe I can skip the book?).

  6. I’m back!

    Sorry for being such a slack participant this year. Too many things have got in the way of blogging consistently this year.

    Your book choice made me laugh out loud this month, so I had to have a go!
    Curiously, I’m the opposite of Sue @Whispering Gums – I preferred the book of Miss Smilla and I even managed to link it to this months meme (before reading Sue’s comment).

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.