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Zara, Loreto College

The Smell of Other People's Houses

In this tale, we follow the lives of four very different teenagers. Ruth has a secret that she knows she is unable to keep forever.Dora wants to escape the tight but invisible grasp of her malicious father. Alyce is stuck between the two things she loves the most. Hank and his brothers are just trying to run away from everything.
The enthralling story is set in Fairbanks, Alaska, a town where people tend not to mix. Dora's father, an alcoholic, is in jail for an event involving a shotgun. The day he was taken away became the best day of Dora's life but unfortunately, her mother spends all her time in the bar, neglecting her child.Dora, however, now lives with her best friend, Dumpling and her family and this family take her on as another member of the household.
Ruth and her little sister called Lily live with their grandmother. This is because her mother wasn't able to bear the death of Ruth's father in a plane crash. Ruth and Lily have no idea where her mother is but they both miss and detest her for leaving them. Ruth just wants for her mother to remember her: she wants to feel loved- especially with the secret that isn't so secret anymore.
Alyce is a graceful ballet dancer. She is desperate to get a dance scholarship to college. her one dilemma is that the only auditions take place during the summer fishing season- the one time a year she gets to see her father, who has split for her mother. Fishing with her dad during the summer has become a yearly tradition and since her parents separated it has even more significance. She doesn't know how to ask him.
Hank is the leader of his two younger brother's, Sam and Jack. They've fled their home, absconding the abusive, vicious and threatening man that now see and lives with their mother ever since their father died in a fishing incident. Subsequently, Sam goes missing from the ferry that they've travelled secretly on. Has another family member died at sea?
Each chapter is told from the perspective of one of the four. Four different teenagers with four different backgrounds intertwined into one compelling story. I would recommend this book for ages 13 and over and rate it 5 stars. The story is about love, courage , and strength and parts of the book are heart wrenching and poignant as the teens deal with the hardships of living in poverty in a tough environment. I really loved the plot and it was an extremely enjoyable read.

Posted on: 3rd May 2017 at 09:26 am

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