Six Degrees of Separation – Notes on a Scandal to The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

Six Degrees of Separation is a meme hosted by Kate over at Books Are My Favourite and Best. It works like this: each month a book is chosen as a starting point and linked to six others to form a chain. A book doesn’t need to be connected to all the titles on the list, only to the one next to it in the chain.

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This month we’re starting with Zoe Heller’s Notes on a Scandal, a dark story of treachery and deceit in which a teacher becomes obsessed with her new colleague.

I’m linking by title to Sarah Vaughan’s political thriller Anatomy of a Scandal recently adapted by Netflix into a very enjoyable piece of nonsense. It took me until the final episode to realise I’d read the book.

I raved about Rhidian Brook’s The Aftermath, set in Hamburg immediately after the Second World War, after reading it on holiday for what I’d thought was the first time only to find a well-thumbed copy already on the shelves at home.

I could pick up a dementia theme here but for my own peace of mind I’m linking to Rachel Seiffert’s The Dark Room which explores the war through three Germans including twelve-year-old Lore who flees with her siblings in 1945 when her Nazi parents are captured by the Allies.

Lore’s story was adapted for a movie of the same name, one of the few films I enjoyed as much as the book. John Fowles’ The French Lieutenant’s Woman is another.

Both the film and Fowles’ novel are firmly anchored in their setting as is Jenni Fagan’s Luckenbooth which evokes Edinburgh as vividly as Fowles does Lyme Regis

I can’t think of Edinburgh without remembering last year’s holiday when I walked down Muriel Spark Way in Morningside so my final link has to be to The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie whose famous school mistress brings me full circle.

This month’s Six Degrees has taken me from a dark tale of manipulation by one teacher of another to one of literature’s most famous school mistresses. Part of the fun of this meme is comparing the very different routes other bloggers take from each month’s starting point. If you’re interested, you can follow it on Twitter with the hashtag #6Degrees, check out the links over at Kate’s blog or perhaps even join in.

24 thoughts on “Six Degrees of Separation – Notes on a Scandal to The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie”

  1. Enjoyed your chain … but you made me laugh re only realising at the end that you’d read Anatomy of a scandal. I have seen two of your adaptations, and have The dark room on my TBR, so I enjoyed your chain. I started mine with an adaptation. Seems like a few of us went there in our chains.

    1. Thank you. I think finding the copy of Aftermath on the shelves was worse. Took me a while to mention that to my partner, kind of hoping that it was his copy! I’ve noticed several of us have picked up on adaptations this month.

    1. Thank you, and that’s very reassuring. I was left stunned that I had no memory of reading this novel the first time around that had made such an impression on me the second time!

  2. Haha, love that you read the book without realising you’d read it before! Any chain that ends up with the wonderful Miss Jean Brodie has travelled a good path!

  3. Yes! ANATOMY of a Scandal. That’s what I saw on Netflix and thought was this month’s starting book until I sat down and actually read the description. Thanks for clearing that up for me. I love your connections between items.

  4. I’d almost considered starting with Jean Brodie this time, but couldn’t for the life of me remember whether I’ve actually read the book (probably not).
    I can relate to your not recognizing the adaptation; it’s happened with me too including with a film which claimed to be based on Emma.

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