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Toby, Chobham Academy Book Group

The Smell of Other People's Houses

The smell of other peoples houses is a story about four very different teenagers, growing up in rural Alaska. The first character introduced to us is Ruth, an orphan who lives with her conservative Christian grandmother. However she becomes pregnant before she is married, so she is sent to a convent is Canada. The next character we meet is Dora who has an alcoholic mother and a father in prison. However she wins a large amount of money in a public competition, so her father tracks her down(we never find out how), so she is forced to live in the wilderness with her best friends family, who are native Alaskans. The third person we meet is Alyce, who's parents are divorced. For nine months of the year, she lives with her mother in a rural Alaskan town, but for three she goes fishing with her father, who lives in Northern Alaska. Finally there is Hank, who runs away from his house with his two brothers. However, it goes wrong as one of his brothers goes missing.

These characters are a good framework for the story, which slowly brings the characters together. Hanks younger brother is found by Alyce's father, so he helps him track down Hank. The other characters are slowly brought together, and end up living in the same town.

Overall, I quite liked the book. Its setting benefits the story, with many descriptions of the Alaskan wilderness. The characters are developed well, as well as realistic.

Posted on: 15th June 2017 at 02:27 pm

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