The Smell of Other People’s Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock
Reviewed by Stephanie
ABOUT: In Alaska, 1970, being a teenager here isn’t like being a teenager anywhere else. Ruth has a secret that she can’t hide forever. Dora wonders if she can ever truly escape where she comes from, even when good luck strikes. Alyce is trying to reconcile her desire to dance, with the life she’s always known on her family’s fishing boat. Hank and his brothers decide it’s safer to run away than to stay home—until one of them ends up in terrible danger. Four very different lives are about to become entangled. (from Goodreads)
Stephanie Says: I fell in love with this book when I first read the title. Smells always induce nostalgic feelings. Usually, when I read a book I don’t experience it with all my senses. This book made me feel as if I were a by-stander in all the scenes, experiencing all the smells and tactility that the characters were. I love when stories have a way of weaving the individual stories within them together displaying an impressive tapestry at the end. That is the way this book made me feel, as if I were watching beauty being created before my eyes. My mushy feelings aside, I never knew that there was so much contention about Alaska transitioning from a territory to a state. The backdrops for many characters in this story begin in 1958 when many Alaskans were fighting against statehood. This novel perfectly reminds me that struggle begets grace.