Six Degrees of Separation: Three Women to Unmentionables


Hosted by Kate at Books Are My favourite and Best, the Six Degrees of Separation meme asks you to start at the same place as other readers, add six books, and see where you end up!

I’ve seen mixed opinions on Three Women by Lisa Taddeo, the book chosen to be this month’s starting point. I had vague plans to read it myself but didn’t get to it. The description of Maggie’s story in the blurb of Three Women though immediately called to mind a book I read several years ago.

Precocious by Joanna Barnard tells the story of Fiona who had an affair with her English teacher when she was fourteen. While Fiona has always been convinced she was the instigator of their relationship, learning that she was not the first, nor had been the last, in a long line of student conquests she is forced to reexamine their past, and present, relationship.

It’s the tag for Precocious ‘Can there be a more unreliable narrator than a teenage girl?’ that leads me to The Accusation by Wendy James. In this provocative tale, a teenage girl accuses drama teacher Susannah of abducting and keeping her captive for over a month. It’s an engrossing story, inspired by a Victorian crime known as The Canning Affair.

Marie was just a teenager when she was raped by a stranger in her apartment. The police did not believe her and she was charged, and convicted, of making a false report. Two years later the capture of a serial rapist revealed photographs taken of Marie during her ordeal. She had told the truth. T. Christian Miller and Ken Armstrong tell her story in Unbelievable, the book that has inspired a Netflix limited series.


The Betrayal by Y.A. Erskine is a thinly veiled admission of an incident in Erskine’s own eleven year police career, though she chose not to report. It features a young police Constable who is sexually assaulted by a colleague. When Lucy reports the attack she is accused of false reporting, targeted in a smear campaign, harassed and physically threatened by many of those she works with.

Sexual harassment in the workplace has long been an issue, in Whisper Network by Chandler Baker four female employees have had enough and refuse to stay silent any longer, but just how far will they go?

I wanted to finish this chain on a slightly more upbeat note which leads me to Unmentionable: The Victorian Lady’s Guide to Sex, Marriage and Manners by Therese Oneill. While it often seems as if change is slow for women in society, this non-fiction work, a ‘hilarious, illustrated, scandalously honest (yet never crass) guide to the secrets of Victorian womanhood’, proves things have been much, much worse.


Join in by posting your own six degrees chain on your blog and adding the link in the Linky section (or comments) of each month’s post at booksaremyfavouriteandbest . If you don’t have a blog, you can share your chain in the comments section. You can also check out links to posts on Twitter using the hashtag #6Degrees



9 thoughts on “Six Degrees of Separation: Three Women to Unmentionables

  1. Well that was a traumatic line-up….! I haven’t read any of these although a couple have crossed my radar (to be honest, I’m unlikely to read any teacher/ student stories – there seemed to be a run of them a few years ago and I don’t think I have anything more to add other than ‘it’s not okay. Ever.’ However, I will check out Unbelievable.

    Liked by 1 person

I want to know what you think! Your comments are appreciated.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s