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Ben, Lancaster Royal Grammar School

The Smell of Other People's Houses

The Smell of Other People's houses is a book that follows four main characters: Ruth, Dora, Alyce and Hank who all have different interests and ideas about what they want.

Ruth's father passes away and so her mother can't take care of her and Ruth's sister and then they go to live with her gran but Ruth has to carry a big secret when she makes a big mistake. Alyce can't bring herself to leave. Her main hobby is dancing but she spends a lot of time fishing with her dad and doesn't want to upset her dad by telling him when her dance audition is. Dora has an abusive home life but has some luck financially but the troubled times at home make her want to be invisible. Whereas Hank is running away from a terrible home situation.

Personally, I like the way Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock develops the characters because the author manages the difficult skill of entangling the lives of all four characters. You can tell she has thought about how she has developed them and made their lives become entangled as all four of them seem to have one thing in common. They all in one way want to leave and run away and you can tell this because they all express their emotions about their situations and describe the feeling of doing other things to be better than the current situation they are in.

The book can be a bit confusing at times because the characters are a bit difficult to engage with at the beginning because of their backgrounds however through the use of character development, a lot of coincidences linking the characters begin to make sense.

Overall, I liked this book and would recommend it because although the storyline can be a bit loose because she has four characters with different backgrounds, Bonnie portrays all four characters really well. It was a great read and a book about the importance of friendship and kindness.

8/10

Posted on: 18th May 2017 at 12:09 pm

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