Written by: Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock
Published: February 23, 2016 by Wendy Lamb Books (Random House)
(Amazon / Goodreads)
Synopsis: In Alaska, 1970, being a teenager here isn’t like being a teenager anywhere else. Ruth has a secret that she can’t hide forever. Dora wonders if she can ever truly escape where she comes from, even when good luck strikes. Alyce is trying to reconcile her desire to dance, with the life she’s always known on her family’s fishing boat. Hank and his brothers decide it’s safer to run away than to stay home—until one of them ends up in terrible danger.
Four very different lives are about to become entangled.
*** I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This fact has not changed my opinion. ****
What an unexpected surprise this book was. I had been hearing a little bit about it lately but all the reviews were so good so when I saw it on Netgalley I grabbed a copy and I am so glad that I did because this book was great.
But I think the other reason that I liked the changing perspectives was because there was so much overlap. Their lives intertwine in complex ways that kept me interested. There are so many subtle ways that the characters interact and influence one another's lives for the better. It had this subtle undercurrent of the power of not only friendship but how perfect strangers can help you get through life even when you least expect it. It was brilliant and subtle in the way it made you feel that too. It's not a book that really spells things out for you and while I appreciated that, it did make things a little confusing at times. I had to keep reminding myself who the characters were and how they knew one another.
This is a short read coming in at 240 pages but the impact of the book was similar to those of twice it's size. There is so much packed into the story that you almost have to take your time with it. And the gorgeous and lyrical writing also makes you slow down and let the words and emotions really sink in. This is a book full of feels and the writing allows you to not only feel the emotions of the characters but the beautiful and tragic setting of the book as well.
On the whole, The Smell of Other People's Houses really impressed me. It is a fantastic and beautiful read full of great characters that you can't help but empathize with and an emotional plot that will stick with you long after you finish. I loved it.
Buy/Borrow/Bypass: Buy! I would not hesitate to recommend The Smell of Other People's Houses. Especially for anyone who is looking for a good coming of age story or a character-driven book with amazing writing. It's a brilliant debut and a great read.
Have you read The Smell of Other People's Houses? What did you think? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!