Sunday, October 08, 2023

Six Degrees of Separation: From I Capture the Castle to The Fatal Shore


Welcome to this month's edition of Six Degrees of Separation, which is a monthly meme hosted by Kate from Books Are My Favourite and Best.  The idea is to start with a specific book and make a series of links from one book to the next using whatever link you can find and see where you end up after six links.  I am also linking this post up with The Sunday Salon, hosted by Deb at Readerbuzz. 


This months starting point is I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith, which is the diary of Cassandra Mortmain.

I instantly thought of a book but I couldn't remember the name of the book, I had no idea why I thought it would connect to the starting book, and I only had a vague idea that the author's first name was Michelle. Eventually I figured it all out out, thank goodness. The book is called A Brief History of Montmaray by Michelle Cooper.  This is a book which tells the story of the royal family of an imaginary kingdom. The family lives on a small island in a crumbling castle in the mid 1930sand the story is told through the diary of Princess Sophie. And it turns out both of these books have been released as Vintage Children's Classics.

For my next step I am choosing Australian historical fiction author Tea Cooper. There are any number of her books I could choose but I guess I have to pick one which is.......The Cedar Cutter.

In the end I could have chosen any of her books because I am choosing my next link in the chain based on the word Tea. My next choice is The Tea Rose by Jennifer Donnelly. This is the first book in the Tea Rose trilogy set in Victorian London. I was very excited to see an email from this author this week to say that she is releasing a new short story set in this world! Yes!!

This made me think of other novella's I have read so my next book is The Fish Girl by Mirandi Riwoe which is a reimagining of a short story by W Somerset Maughan. This was a book I featured in a Weekend Cooking post a number of years ago, and it was winner of the Seizure Viva La Novella Prize back in 2017. It is set in Dutch Colonial Indonesia

I tried to think of other books set in Indonesia. There was one that came to mind but it was one I would rather not feature, so instead I am choosing Map of the Invisible World by Tash Aw.

My final choice is another with a map on the cover, The Fatal Shore by Robert Hughes. 

Next month's starting point is 

Western Lane by Chetna Maroo, which is a novella that has been nominated for the Booker prize


  1. I impressed that you figured out a book when, at first, you only had the name Michelle. I'm glad that you found it -- that sort of almost-remembering drives me nuts.

  2. What an interesting chain. I don't know any of these books!

  3. Way to come up with the book you were thinking of. As always, your chains impress me with where you wind up.

  4. A Brief History of Montmaray sounds like a book I'd enjoy, so I thank you for featuring it here---I've never heard about it before now.

    Love all your twists and turns this time!

  5. Of all these books, I am only familiar with The Tea Rose although I haven't read it. I enjoyed seeing where your chain took you, Marg. Have a great week!

  6. I really like your cover of I Capture the Castle. I own the one with the JK Rowling quote. I enjoyed that Montmaray trilogy and it was definitely inspired by Castle. I read The Tea Rose but not enough to read the subsequent books in the series. I guess I prefer her YA titles.

    I am unfamiliar with Tea Cooper but will have to see if she is published in the US - I like the look of her books.