Wednesday, 24 February 2016
The Smell of Other People's Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock
The teens in this story all want a safe and welcoming place to live. They want people in that house to care for them, the make it a home. They want it to smell like baking instead of disinfectant. (not that a clean house is a bad thing).
Teens also compare their parents to the parents of their friends. Some are better and some are worse, it`s all in the eye of the teens involved. A few even fantasize that life would be better if they had different parents. A huge part of growing up is coming to terms with the family that you were born into.
Ruth, Dora, Alyce and Hank are all coming of age in the 1970`s in remote Alaska. They live in a small community where most people know each other and their histories. It`s a mixed culture community where many of the old practises have been maintained such as spending the summer at a hunting or fishing camp.
For a debut novel, author Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock did a great job of bringing these teens to life. The relationships between the teens seemed so real with their rivalries and friendships. I could clearily imagine the anguish that some of them were feeling and admit to shedding tears more than a few times. This story has it`s sorrows, but they are well balanced with the joys and it left me with a feeling of hope for these and other teens facing the challenges of growing up. I lreally enjoyed this book and look forward to future works by this author.
Thanks to Penguin Random House for my review ecopy.
Cover image courtesy Penguin Random House Canada