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Richard, Chobham Academy Book Group

The Smell of Other People's Houses

'The Smell of Other People's Houses' (by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock) is a very moving story expressing the emotions and culture-specific lifestyles of four different people - Ruth, Dora, Alyce and Hank. Throughout the story, the author gradually builds each storyline until they become linked. The tagline of the story is: 'Growing up here is like growing up nowhere else,' this is not a random tagline which has nothing to do with the story itself, it's a phrase that could be plastered into a reader's mind as they read every single world. This story clearly was very difficult to write from so many different perspectives and accurately emphasised every feeling each character had in their own way. I found this particularly impressive and I enjoyed the book much more than I expected. At first I didn't understand the cover of the book and was quite skeptic about reading it, since it was not my first choice as a selection, however even in the first chapter I was already interested because the story brought new ideas to my head and even taught me a few new ideas about life in other places. I respect the author for trying so hard to create such a creative and heartfelt concept. Even after the story there is a brief Q/A section in which the writer is brutally honest about all of her answers to the story-related questions, even tieing them in with real life and showing that fiction doesn't have to be all about spaceships and angry fire monsters to be interesting. This is one of the few books I've struggled to put down, thus I would rate it a solid 8/10, I would give it slightly higher but some of the language used was a little complicated, and I didn't understand what was going on during every single moment of the story; however I got most of it, and really enjoyed it the whole way through.

Posted on: 24th April 2017 at 11:03 pm

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