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Hannah, Alsager LRC Shadowing Group

The Smell of Other People's Houses

This book was very interesting. The style was certainly different to many other books as there were four people narrating throughout the book which made it a lot more fun to read. It is set in Alaska.
The Smell of Other People's Houses starts with a fascinating prologue narrated by Ruth who also starts the story. In the prologue she tells of her previous life when she was 5 and living happily with her parents. However, because of a political issue in which people would be allowed to live less freely, Ruth's father goes to Washington D.C. to try and resolve the problem. Sadly, on the way back, the plane crashes and Ruth's father dies. After this, Ruth and her new born sister are sent to live with their Gran and the prologue ends.
This is where the story begins. Ruth is a smart but quiet girl who lives under the rule of her extremely strict Grandmother. She believes there is something big and new for her, just waiting and she lives her life in wait for this.
Dora is a girl who has to live with her friend, Dumpling because her dad is in jail because of his abuse to his family. This is the reason she lives in constant stress and barely sleeps at night. Dora wishes to be invisible.
Alyce is torn in two as her parents have split and she loves both of them but has to spend time with them at different occasions. During the summer, there is an audition that could change Alyce's life by entering her into a prestigious ballet school. But the audition is in Fairbanks where her Mum lives and during the summer Alyce has to be out in her Dad's boat helping out. She narrates her confusing opinion at this time. She cannot however, bring herself to leave, which is what we learn from reading her chapters.
Lastly there is Hank, who is running away from his cruel step-dad with his two younger brothers. They stow away on a ferry, hoping to get away but terror strikes as one brother falls overboard. Unfortunately, they are not able to do anything because no-one knows they are there.
These four lives are entangled in a fantastic way. This book was clearly written very carefully with a lot of planning, which I can see because of the intricate setting.
I loved reading this book as it was very unique.

Posted on: 17th April 2017 at 07:10 pm

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