6 Degrees of Separation- Picnic at Hanging Rock

The 6 Degrees of Separation meme is a monthly meme that explores the ways in which a chosen book can be linked to six other books.

The July 2017 book is: Picnic at Hanging Rock by Joan Lindsay. I really need to read this gothic Australian classic about mysterious vanishings that occur during an all girl’s school outing. I also want to check out the film version.

My chain of six books includes epic family sagas, magical realism, jazz age novels, and fairy tale retellings:



1. The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough

The first book in my chain is another Australian classic that has been adapted to the screen- in this case into a famous 1980’s miniseries. McCullough’s thick novel covers the trials, triumphs, and forbidden love affairs of three generations of a family of sheep farmers in the outback.



2. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez 

Speaking of epic family sagas, One Hundred Years of Solitude covers- you guessed it- a century in the lives of the Buendia family in a mythical Columbian town. Gabriel García Márquez is the master of magical realism and his innovative novel shimmers with life.



3. The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton 

This led me to another vibrant magical realism novel with beautiful and incredibly poetic prose. The coming-of age story of Ava Lavender- a girl who has been born with feathered wings- is both heartbreaking and uplifting; tragic and touching.



4. The Beautiful and Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Another novel with “Beautiful” in its title, this is perhaps Fitzgerald’s most autobiographical work. Issues of alcoholism, an unhappy marriage, ambition, and social status dominate this 1920’s classic.



5. The Girls at the Kingfisher Club by Genevieve Valentine 

Next is an historical fiction novel set in jazz age New York. Twelve cloistered sisters defy their overbearing father by sneaking out at night to dance in speakeasies, in this retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses.



6. Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine 

Which brings me to my final book, another fairy tale retelling, Ella Enchanted. This beloved take on Cinderella features a strong female heroine who has been cursed with the gift of obedience.



Click here to participate in #6Degrees. 


5 thoughts on “6 Degrees of Separation- Picnic at Hanging Rock

Add yours

  1. I love the resurgence on The Thorn Birds that this chain has brought about! Strange and Beautiful Sorrows sounds lovely – one to check out even though magic realism isn’t my usual genre.

    Thanks for joining in!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. How did you feel about One Hundred Years of Solitude? I was expecting a bit more reading this book, already knowing that its an absolute classic and much loved. However, for me it seemed way too repetitive and the character’s, many of whom have the same need eventually follow in previous generations’ footsteps and all reach the same likely fate.


    1. I read it in high school about ten years ago, but I remember loving Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s prose. I think it was also my first introduction to magical realism. I do remember thinking it was overly long and could’ve been edited down some.

      It’s definitely repetitive in terms of the fates of the characters- almost as if none of them could escape the family curse/destiny- and that can be frustrating. I need to reread it someday to see how I would feel about it now…

      Liked by 1 person

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