SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION - From Where Am I Now? to The Dead Secret

Here it is the first Saturday of the month which means it's time to play Six Degrees of Separation, a meme hosted by Kate of Books Are My Favourite and Best. A book is chosen as the starting point and the idea is to link six books to one another to form a chain.

Today's book is a memoir by Mara Wilson entitled Where Am I Now? Again, this is a book I haven't read, so I struggled to find my first link. Eventually I got there, but in a convoluted way.

Mara Wilson is now a retired actress who as a child starred in the 1994 remake of Miracle on 34th Street. The film was based on a story by Valentine Davies, whose film credits include The Bridges of Toko-Rai

based on the novel by James A. Michener. While I haven't read this book, I have read another by Michener entitled Poland. Now I have my first link.

As with most books by Michener, this is a grand family saga which runs to 616 pages. It follows the fortunes of three families and the country from 1204 to 1981.

This book leads me to another James and another book set in Poland. James Conroyd Martin's novel Push Not the River is based on a diary by Lady Anna Maria Berezowska, a Polish Countess,who lived through the turbulent years of the 3rd of May Constitution, 1791-1794.

Elsewhere at that time, another revolution was underway: the French Revolution.

My next link takes me to the first book I ever read set during that period, A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. I still have my 1960s Deans Classics edition which was a Christmas present from my parents. This was one of two historical novels written by Dickens; the other being Barnaby Rudge which I have yet to read.

From books written by Dickens, my next link takes me to a book written about Dickens.

Mr.Dickens and His Carol by Samantha Silva is a lighthearted look at a time in Dickens' life when his career is not going too well. His latest novel is a flop and his debts are mounting. He is not looking forward to the expense of the coming Christmas. So to appease his publishers, readers and make amends to his family, he agrees to write a book within a month - just in time for Christmas.

The next book in my chain, The Street Philospher by Matthew Plampin, is linked to the previous one in two ways. It is also set in Victorian times, partly during the Crimean War. The second link is that the main protagonist, Thomas Kitson, is a journalist reporting from the Crimea; early in his career Dickens was a freelance journalist.

The second part of the story takes place in 1857 with Kitson back in England. This is the same year that The Dead Secret by Wilkie Collins, was originally published, although it had been serialised in 1856.

Well, that's my Six Degrees of Separation for this month. Next month the starting point is The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton.


  1. I like your first link - very clever! A Tale of Two Cities is probably my favourite Dickens novel and I've read The Dead Secret too, although I can't remember much about it.

    1. Thank you, Helen! A Tale of Two Cities is my favourite Dickens too.