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Bella, British School of Gran Canaria

The Smell of Other People's Houses

Ruth, Dora, Alyce and Hank live very distinctive lives with their own preoccupations. However, as if decided by fate, these four are destined to intertwine. Told in their own perspectives, we immerse ourselves in this story of losing, loving and surviving.

The book starts us off with Ruth's background, or, rather, she talks about how much she misses her carefree past and how it kept going downhill from the day her father attended that meeting concerning Alaska's freedom. Considering this was the first of the character backstories (and a full prologue chapter dedicated to it), I concluded that Ruth was the main focus out of the four.

After a few chapters introducing the other characters, the narrative begins to pick up and more impactful events start to occur. Although the book is short, the plot is really well written throughout and doesn't cut any corners.

I really enjoy stories where somehow all the characters are connected in some way and as we read their different perspectives, we get their varied thoughts on the same subject. If a person did this, how would it affect other people that they didn't even know existed? It's exciting being able to put the pieces together, like assembling a brand-new jigsaw fresh out of its box.

However, I would have appreciated small snippets of the side characters' points of view, other than the main four. I was curious to discover how Lily, Sam and especially Dumpling felt throughout the story.

Something about this book really appealed to me, from the quirky chatter to the haunting struggles. Overall, it was a short but satisfying read.

Posted on: 15th May 2017 at 09:45 am

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