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Mrs. McGougan, Cranleigh Carnegie Club

The Smell of Other People's Houses

I found the title of this book intriguing and thought it did a great job of conveying the difficulties of life living in a small Alaskan town for both the teenage characters and their families. I found the story of Ruth most engaging, and really liked her transformation as she grew to understand more about herself and her family. However, the book started as a collection of short stories and I think that shows. I'm not sure it was entirely successful in bringing them all together and as a result some of the characters get a bit lost. I did however, love the use of smell throughout this book to evoke different moods and memories. This happens to me all the time! Apparently, the original story started as an exercise at a writing group where they all had to write for 20 minutes on the topic of the smell of other people's houses. I remember being fascinated with this when I was a child and wondering what my own house must smell like!

I would give this book 7/10

Posted on: 19th April 2017 at 07:42 am

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