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Genevieve , Pilton Shadowers

The Smell of Other People's Houses

It’s the intriguing title which first caught my eye, encouraging me to pick this book, despite the fact that I wouldn’t typically pick this genre. Written in four characters' points of view, this book has a different style to anything I’ve ever read before, and for this reason the book was not a bedtime read, as it requires your full attention.
In the interview at the end of the book, the author Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock tell us that originally she had written many short stories before deciding to settle on the four characters who help to tell the story and combining each tale into one book. However, I feel that the book still felt a bit too much like four separate short stories which required a bit more development and links between the characters to form a single book. This may have been Hitchcock’s idea (in which case she succeeded!), but as the book switches narrative each chapter, I felt that I didn’t have enough time to see a character develop or connect with one before the story moved on. This continued until I got just past halfway, where the characters started to connect with each other a bit more, which in turn meant I saw more of each one.
Due to the switches in point of view, there were some points where I found I had forgotten whose chapter I was reading and had to check, this mainly happened with Aylice and Dora. As the book progressed I started to enjoy it more, the connection between the characters I felt was lacking in the first half began to occur; what seemed like separate stories at the beginning began to intertwine, however it was still lacking an overall story, focusing on the separate plots.
To conclude, this book definitely wasn't love at first sight, and I felt it required more of a storyline, but it hugely improved as it went on, capturing my interest where it hadn't before.

Posted on: 10th April 2017 at 08:22 pm

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