Saturday, June 4, 2022

Six Degrees of Separation - from Sorrow and Bliss to Edward Eager's The Time Garden

It’s time for #6degrees, inspired by Kate at Books Are My Favourite and Best. We all start at the same place, add six books, and see where we end up. This month’s starting point is Sorrow and Bliss by Meg Mason about a woman whose marriage disintegrates, seemingly because her depression is misdiagnosed.
First Degree

Sorrow and Bliss sounded too sorrowful for me but I did like Bailey by Harry Bliss (2011). Bailey is an irrepressible dog who has adventures at school. “Try not to lick anyone today!” urges the principal, as he walks in. I especially like that Bailey is doing a report on Fala, FDR’s dog. “He’s the guy on the dime!” says one classmate. This book would make a great gift for a child you know who is starting school.
Second Degree

My second link is books about dogs with personality. One of my favorite fictional dogs is Harry the Dirty Dog who reappears in No Roses for Harry! by Gene Zion (1958). In this picture book, Harry is forced to wear a humiliating sweater with roses made by the children’s grandmother. Harry will do anything to avoid wearing this sweater in public!
Third Degree

My third link is roses. I recently enjoyed The Rose Code by Kate Quinn (2011), a historical novel set at Bletchley Park during WWII. One of the protagonists is trying to decipher a code that has been nicknamed the Rose cipher due to the description of its structure (“Reminds me of a rose, petals overlapping downward toward the core”).
Fourth Degree

My fourth link is also roses. Frances Parkinson Keyes was a Boston-born author whose books became bestsellers in the first half of the 20th century. In addition to her writing, she became a well-known Washington hostess, after her husband was elected to the United States Senate. Roses in December (1960) is her memoir about her youth in New England and her travel in Europe, up to meeting her husband. Because I read them so long ago, I think the only book of hers I have reviewed is The Heritage.
Fifth Degree

More roses for my fifth link. I Never Promised You a Rose Garden by Hannah Green (1964) is probably very dated now but was assigned summer reading when I was in high school. The protagonist is schizophrenic, caught between a world of rejection and a complete fantasy world, and I think it was autobiographical. There is also a country song but I think that is unrelated to the book.
Sixth Degree

My final link is gardens. I am a huge fan of Edward Eager, who was much influenced by E. Nesbit, and died in his 50s, when he had only written seven books. The Time Garden (1958) features the same children from Knight’s Castle, now visiting a great aunt outside Boston whose garden has magical attributes. This book should not be missed!
Have you read any of these? Did you play #6Degrees this month?  Anyone can join in.  Next month, we’ll start on July 2, 2022 with Wintering by Katherine May. 


Karen K. said...

No Roses for Harry was one of my childhood favorites! I think I've also read I Never Promised You a Rose Garden, back in my teens when this was considered YA fiction. (I may still have a copy packed away with all my childhood books).

I've never read anything by Keyes but I actually have a stack of her books rescued from the library giveaway cart. I'm always intrigued by early 20th century book so I selfishly grabbed the lot, some of them still have the original dust jackets, though somewhat tattered. I think I have five or six but I still haven't read any of them yet. I did check but I don't have either of her books you mention, so maybe I should get around to reading one of them this summer!

AnnaBookBel said...

I like the way your first choice colour matches! I've not read any of your choices.

Davida Chazan (The Chocolate Lady) said...

A bit of agriculture in this chain - very nice!

Lisa of Hopewell said...

Harry the Dirty Dog!! I have the whole collection!

CLM said...

I was amused to see a big table of Sorrow and Bliss when I walked into the flagship Daunt Books yesterday! (but didn't buy it)

Karen, it is hard to saw which is better, Harry the Dirty Dog or No Roses for Harry! With respect to Keyes, my two favorites are Came a Cavalier and Crescent Carnival. Check your pile to see if you have either of those.

I have now reached London and can tell I won't get much reading done this month, but that is okay.