6 Degrees of Separation: From Where The Wild Things Are to The Great Darkness

It’s the first Saturday of the month so it’s time for 6 Degrees of Separation!

Here’s how it works: a book is chosen as a starting point by Kate at Books Are My Favourite and Best 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.

Kate says: 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 or esoteric 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. Join in by posting your own six degrees chain on your blog and adding the link in the comments section of each month’s post.   You can also check out links to posts on Twitter using the hashtag #6Degrees

This month’s starting book is Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. It’s a book I haven’t read but I know it’s a much-loved classic about a little boy called Max who puts on a wolf suit and has a series of imagined adventures.

It made me think of another children’s book that features wolves, The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken. As well as being a prolific author of books for children, Joan Aiken also wrote The Haunting of Lamb House, a ghostly re-imagining of events in the house in the Kent village of Rye where Henry James lived for a time. It was also there that he wrote The Turn of the Screw.

The 1961 film version of The Turn of the Screw, released under the title The Innocents, starred Deborah Kerr as the governess to two children who becomes convinced the house and grounds are haunted. Deborah Kerr also starred in the 1955 film adaptation of Graham Greene’s The End of the Affair. Set during and shortly after the Second World War, it tells of the affair between a man and his friend’s wife.

Also set partly during the Second World War is Michael Ondaatje’s latest novel, Warlight, which was shortlisted for this year’s Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction (although it lost out to The Long Take by Robin Robertson). The ‘warlight’ of the title refers to the years when blackouts and curfews were in effect. This takes me to my final link – The Great Darkness by Jim Kelly. It’s a historical crime mystery set in Cambridge in the opening weeks of the Second World War, when the first blackout – the great darkness of the title – covers southern England.

So for this month’s Six Degrees we’ve travelled from dreams of wild things to very real dangers under cover of darkness.

Excitingly, next month (3rd August 2019), is a wild card – start with the book you’ve ended this month’s chain with (or for those playing for the first time, start with the last book you finished reading).


10 thoughts on “6 Degrees of Separation: From Where The Wild Things Are to The Great Darkness

  1. The Turn of the Screw is one of the scariest books I’ve read – that either says a lot about James as an author or that I don’t read very scary books and therefore have not much to compare it to! 😀


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