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Six Degrees of Separation // ‘Flowers in the Attic’

Six Degrees of Separation is hosted by Kate at Books Are My Favourite and Best. It goes like this:

On the first Saturday of every month, a book is chosen as a starting point 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.”

Then you head on over to Kate’s blog and link up. Easy.

This is my very first Six Degrees of Separation and it was so much fun to do. I would encourage everyone to join in – you might even learn some weird bookish facts on the way. And there’s very little in the way of rules, which is lucky for me because I think my links are the loosest ones in the history of any chains and are tenuous at best. Oh well.


The starting point for this month’s chain, is Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews. Published in 1979, I haven’t read this book, but I have read the most popular book published that year (according to Goodreads, anyway; Flowers in the Attic comes in at number five), The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams.

Starring in the film adaptation of that book, Martin Freeman also plays the Watson to Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock Holmes in TV’s Sherlock, a modern interpretation of the Sherlock Holmes novels by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (just in case you’d never heard of it).

One of the writer’s of TV’s Sherlock, Mark Gatiss, has also written for Doctor Who; as has Ben Aaronovitch, whose ‘Peter Grant’ series, starting with Rivers of London, are the very first books on my book shelf.

The honour of being the last book on my shelf (I alphabetise by author, in case you were wondering), is Stefan Zweig’s The Invisible Collection.

The work of Zweig was the inspiration for Wes Anderson’s film The Grand Budapest Hotel, which has Anderson’s typical visual quirks that we also see in his adaptation of Roald Dahl’s The Fantastic Mr Fox.

The name of Mr Fox’s son in the film adaptation is Ash. The ash tree is, according to Wikipedia, “a genus of flowering plants in the olive and lilac family”. In Vanessa Diffenbaugh’s The Language of Flowers, the hidden meanings and folklore of flowers are at the heart of the novel (which flowers represent love, death, etc.). The ash, in some regions of England, was known as ‘the widowmaker’ as large boughs would often drop from them unexpectedly (and I guess had the result of killing a few people). In a sort of not six degrees of separation thing, according to its synopsis, the horrible events that occur in Flowers in the Attic begin when a woman is widowed (unfortunately the husband wasn’t killed by a falling ash bough – that would have been too perfect).


  1. I love that you got from FITA to HItchhiker’s – that was a tremendous leap & it works!

    Congrats on your first SDOS – I’m the sporadic, once-a-year participant 🙂


    • Going from FITA to Hitchhiker’s was a bit random and I thank Google and Goodreads for it! It’s weird the connections you can make when you look hard enough.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. So before I read about the connections between the books in a person’s chain, I look at the pics and try to work them out – your link to Hitchhiker’s had me completely stumped 😀

    Love the inclusion of Zweig (I have this collection in the TBR stack on the strength of how much I loved The Post Office Girl) and also love how your ending ties back to the beginning – all said with flowers 🙂


    • It was a bit of a leap to Hitchhiker’s, but not having read Flowers in the Attic I was completely stuck with what to do. Thank goodness for Google and Goodreads!

      I haven’t read The Post Office Girl yet, but I’ve loved just about everything else Zweig has written so I know that I’ll like it. I just finished reading a novella of his called Twenty-Four Hours in the Life of a Woman which I really liked. I have no idea why I liked it though; there’s just something about this writing that grabs me.

      Can’t wait for the next Six Degrees – I haven’t checked what the book is yet, but hopefully I’ve read this one 🙂


      • Post Office Girl is sensational. If you don’t know much about Zweig’s life, google it AFTER you’ve read Post Office Girl. And then say OH. MY. GOD.

        Next Six a Degrees is Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close – even if you haven’t read it there’s plenty of jumping points (as compared to Flowers). Also, if you have any suggestions for a starting book, please let me know 🙂


        • I did some heavy Zweig googling after I first saw The Grand Budapest Hotel and I’ve pretty much become obsessed with him – he can do no wrong in my eyes. The biography he wrote about Michel de Montaigne was wonderful and said a lot about Montaigne and Zweig.

          Liked by 1 person

        • I knew nothing about him, read Post Office Girl and then googled him – couldn’t believe the parallels between book ending and the way he died. It was eerie.


  3. Nice connections!! Flowers in the Attic was one of my favorite books as a child. And, I shudder to look back and think about how screwed up that was! My mom read it years after I did and was horrified that I liked it.


    • It sounds pretty horrible, so I suspect I’ll probably like it too if I ever read it! Also, I can’t believe you read it as a child – how old were you?


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