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Kimberley, Aylsham High School

The Smell of Other People's Houses

This book is about four teenagers living in Alaska. It demonstrates to the reader different points of view living in different circumstances. The characters show individual situations in which they have to get through and resolve. It creates an edge of confidence and pushes them to their limits. Ruth is a girl with experience in family traum; Dora is a girl who is afraid of her parents and lives with a close friend; Alyce is a girl trying to escape her father-daughter traditions and Hank is a boy trying to escape from his mother and “father” with his two little brothers.
“The smell of other people’s houses” is a book full of wonder and accomplishment. The characters make their situations good ones by competing against their problems for better lives. The characters’ lives gently overlap like a maze; they are all connected somehow and somewhere, and little clues help you. In this book teamwork is necessary to stay together, in one piece and not apart.
The sense of smell dominates all other senses in this book, it is explained very vividly from the scent of deer’s blood to a mother’s cooking. This sense of smell is portrayed in a way that connects the characters together. It gives them a common thought and also brings the reader’s imagination to life. Explaining the smell of places, objects and hobbies can make a more realistic image in someone’s head, and this is what Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock does in this book. This has made the book more enjoyable because you can truly understand what the characters feel and do. This book shows that the sense of smell can override any other sense, it is easily paired with a memory or a habit and can make people feel more “at home”.
Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock writes about different problems that many children and teenagers over the world experience throughout their lives, such as child abuse and teenage pregnancy. These are both devastating topics and the author writes about them in a way that they can overcome these and if they try, they will succeed.
Overall, “The smell of other people’s houses” is a book that I would recommend to anyone over the age of 12/13 because it holds what a lot of people may go through or are going through, it also gives you a different point of view about everything. It shows just how lucky some of us are to have a family that is together and supports us through everything. The characters all have a certain perk in their personalities which makes them seem like a family of their own, all connected through their own ways.

Posted on: 22nd May 2017 at 02:04 pm

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