Sunday, March 20, 2016

The Smell of Other People's Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock

In Alaska, 1970, being a teenager here isn’t like being a teenager anywhere else. This deeply moving and authentic debut is for fans of Rainbow Rowell, Louise Erdrich, Sherman Alexie, and Benjamin Alire Saenz. Intertwining stories of love, tragedy, wild luck, and salvation on the edge of America’s Last Frontier introduce a writer of rare talent.
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. This unforgettable book is about people who try to save each other—and how sometimes, when they least expect it, they succeed. 

Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock was born and raised in Alaska. She worked many years fishing commercially with her family and as a reporter for Alaska Public Radio stations around the state. She was also the host and producer of “Independent Native News,” a daily newscast produced in Fairbanks, focusing on Alaska Natives, American Indians, and Canada’s First Nations. Her writing is inspired by her family’s four generations in Alaska. 


I received this one prior to it's release and sadly just got to it yesterday! It could have been the title holding me back or the massive TBR pile, but I finally read it and did so in just one day. It was an awesome short read that had powerful words, inspiring metaphors, and a storyline that made me open my eyes, heart, and mind.

Each character played an intricate role in the overall picture. It was intriguing to follow their lives and put the pieces together to see how they were all connected. I felt for each character in a different way... Whether it was the fact they didn't have a strong family structure or that they were left to deal with life on their own at an age you need someone most... Each story pulled me in and captured my heart. 

It's a book filled with emotion, broken hearts, tragedy, hope, and new beginnings. It is rich in Alaskan feels and vivid in overall atmosphere. The Author did an excellent job making me feel like I was in the story. I could feel the bitter cold on my face and the wind rip through my hair as they floated on top of the water. I felt romance bloom, friendships thrive, and families mend. It was truly a unique story that kept me glued to the pages.

All in all, I really enjoyed this book and the change of pace it provided. The title was a tad odd to me, but in the end I understood the meaning behind it and could relate in more ways than one. 

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