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Lily, Oakgrove School

The Smell of Other People's Houses

This book is based on four different people’s lives in 1970’s Alaska. While the title doesn’t have much to do with the book, the actual content is intriguing. Some content in the book (for example Ruth’s pregnancy) I wouldn’t recommend for younger readers. The main plot wasn’t exactly clear and meandered from it’s initial purpose and the main characters Ruth, Dora, Alyce and Hank didn’t exactly all meet until the end and it felt rushed. However, I liked how Alyce and Hank’s relationship grew throughout the book, but otherwise it wasn’t very interesting. I found the POV change mostly fine to read, but at some points it was confusing. As for human rights, the different character’s different backgrounds explored different types of rights. Ruth was being prejudiced against as a result of her pregnancy and was even sent to the convent as a result. Hank had left home and struggled to be reunited with his brothers after he fell off the boat they were on. Dora and her mother lived in fear of her father who escapes from prison and Dora has to stand up to him. As for Alyce, I feel as if her rights weren’t really explored and she had a bland motif. Overall, The smell of other people’s houses was an alright book but could’ve shared human rights in a clearer way.

Posted on: 9th June 2017 at 12:49 pm

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