Six Degrees of Separation: The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath


It’s the first Saturday of the month, and that means only one thing: a new #6Degrees of Separation Post! Here’s a recap of the rules:

#6Degrees Rules

This time, we’re beginning with Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar, which is actually my favorite book ever, and was a big influence on my novel How To Be A Good Wife which just came out in paperback last week! (Read more about my novel)

Here’s my chain:

ImageHandler.ashxThe Bell Jar/Sylvia Plath
My favourite novel, this book’s tight, lucid prose belies one of the most unreliable narrators in history.  I loved that we are unsure whether to trust her as she spirals into depression.



when-nights-were-coldThe Journals of Sylvia Plath/Sylvia Plath
Sorry to make this all about Sylvia, but reading and loving The Bell Jar led me to search out Plath’s journals.  An exploration of her mental state and struggles with writerly ambitions, this book has become a real go-to place for me to keep the faith when I doubt my own writing.



the little friendThe Secret Diary of Adrian Mole/Sue Townsend
A bit of a leap, but journals have led me to this famous comic diary series, which I loved as a teenager.  I was very sad to hear about Sue Townsend’s death last month: she was a British literary gem.



To_Kill_a_MockingbirdAre You There God, It’s Me Margaret/Judy Blume
Another exploration of the trials of tennagehood.  I loved this book, and Judy Blume’s others, when I was growing up.  I remember the raunchiness of Forever Love, and reading it in secret in the library.




uncle_toms_cabin.largePuppies in the Pantry/Lucy Daniels
This chain is NOT going where I expected!  Thinking about childhood books has led me to another one of my favourite book series: Animal Ark.  With titles like Puppies in the Pantry, Hedgehogs in the Hall, and Bunnies in the Bathroom: these books were irresistible to a young animal lover.  Researching the books for this post, I just discovered they were written by a group of authors under one pseudonym!


the_awakeningMalory Towers/Enid Blyton
Another series I utterly devoured as a child.  I longed to go to that school, with its midnight feasts, outdoor swimming pool cut out of a cliff and troublemakers!




the_yellow_wallpaperEngelby/Sebastian Faulks
From innocent boarding school stories, to a dark, menacing tale whose protagonist’s problems began with bullying at his posh boarding school.




I’m surprised by my chain this time: I never expected The Bell Jar to lead me through my favorite books as a child, returning to such a sinister book with many things in common with Plath’s.  I suppose that’s why this meme is so fun!

I wonder what Annabel Smith came up with…

What does your chain look like?  Please post it or a link to your blog post in the comments below.

Our next #6Degrees post will be up on Saturday 7th June and we’ll be starting with The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton.

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