This month’s challenge, from Kate, at #6degrees, is to create a chain of books that starts from A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens. The call for participants always goes out the first Saturday of the month, but I can find no deadline, so I’m going to arrive fashionably late – do people still say and do that at parties, I wonder?
If not, they should. You might say that’s what Scrooge does, after the ghosts of Christmases past, present and future have provided their version of shock therapy, and transformed him from an obsessive miser into an avid party-goer. His crisis may have happened a little after mid-life, but does result in a turn-around on his personality.
Whereas the businessman, John Thornton, in Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South, is approximately thirty when he meets nineteen year-old Margaret Hale. That’s when his world begins to tilt. He’s never seen any young woman the equal of this southern lady, and has no idea how to respond. If he’s to have any hopes of winning her, he has to transform. Margaret too has a few things to learn. She’s never met the likes of John, transplanted as she’s been from the softer, genteel climates of London and Hampshire.
The orphan Lisbeth Salander, in The Millennium Trilogy by Stieg Larson, is also modern and fearless, and proves to be a powerful ally for friends in trouble. She has created a code of rights and wrongs that she adheres to, even though this often brings her into conflict with conventional authority.
Another orphan in conflict with authority from an early age is Jane Eyre. Charlotte Bronte’s feisty heroine provided a role model for generations of girls.
The bullying she experiences at the hands of her Aunt Reed are mirrored, one hundred and fifty years later, by the orphaned Harry Potter who is taken in by his aunt and uncle Dursley. J.K. Rowling’s central character will also be enrolled at a boarding school. There he will find mentors and friends, and learn the extent of his inner strengths by facing up to some challenging situations.
Well, that’s my chain. I wonder which links you would choose for A Christmas Carol…
If you want to check out how other people created theirs, have a look on booksaremyfavouriteandbest. You’ll also find information about next month’s challenge.