The Smell of Other People’s Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock. I swear its not as pretentious as the title makes it sound. I actually really loved this book!
Synopsis from Goodreads:
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.
This is more or less accurate, but the great part is how the four stories weave together while each keeping their own significance, if that makes sense. Also, the world building was really great, especially for a historical fiction novel. I felt like I could see what was going on, and it felt more or less effortless.
One thing I would like to point out is that despite this book only being 227 pages long, it is not a quick read, at least for me. It was not slow as in boring, but it wasn’t edge-of-your-seat fast and action packed either. This might be a turn-off if you dislike slower books, but I don’t think it detracts from anything, personally. It isn’t meant to be quick; in fact the stories take place over a whole year. What I am trying to say is that it is short because it is concise, not because it is lacking.
I really loved and understood all of the characters, and their motivations made a lot of sense. They were relatable in the sense that I think anybody could imagine what went on in their heads, but not relatable in the sense that I would expect a small percentage of people to have experienced anything similar to their experiences in this story.
Overall, I just really loved this story. Would recommend. 5/5 stars.