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Carina, John Mason School - Abingdon

The Smell of Other People's Houses

The Smell of Other People’s Houses is a very complex novel from the point of view of 4 different characters whose stories start separately and are cleverly intertwined as their paths cross during the book. After the first change I was really confused and I had to read back to find out who the new character was and how they were related or connected. Because the web of connections is so intricate I found it quite hard to remember how people knew each other at the start of each new chapter. However once I had sussed out the different characters I started to enjoy the stories of Alice, Ruth, Hank and Dora and became engrossed in each of their tales. I found it really interesting to read about a book set in Alaska in 1970 and as the blurb suggests, growing up there did really seem like nowhere else.

This book is really unique and very different from any books I have read before. It combines themes of love, tragedy , family, friendship and salvation which are used in such a compelling and beautiful way. Although I have never been to Alaska the writer makes you feel as if you are there. I thought the ending was very clever and the way hints dropped in the plot came together,the characters finally all met and all the loose ends seemed to get tied up was a great way to finish the book.

Posted on: 8th June 2017 at 05:56 pm

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