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Emma B, Chobham Academy Book Group

The Smell of Other People's Houses

‘The Smell of Other People’s Houses’ is very well written book which starts off with you being introduced to Ruth, a 16 year old girl from Alaska. As you read on you meet more characters such as Ruth, then Dora and then it’s Alyce and last but not least is Hank. When you read through the novel you start to acknowledge that all the characters are linked as they all have a secret but are so different as well. The secrets are that Ruth wants to be remembered, Dora wishes she was invisible. Alyce can’t bring herself to leave and Hank is running away.
The novel is about how 4 completely different characters all collide into each other’s lives, and this is probably why they used the world ‘it’s the smell of worlds colliding’ on the back of the book.
My favourite character in the book was Dumpling, even though she is not a main character, she is an extremely nice character and is always there for Ruth and Dora. It contains some themes that some would say are inappropriate, which include, domestic abuse, alcohol and teen pregnancy. These are very important issues even in today’s world and I feel like it isn’t talked about enough in the book.
Whilst the first part was quite confusing, it gets clearer as you read on. As you get to the end of the book everything starts to unravel and becomes very clear and you can figure out what is going on. I would give this book a 5/5 as it was very clearly written and has a great story line. This novel definitely taught me more about what life was like in the 70’s.

Posted on: 7th June 2017 at 11:18 am

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