The Smell of Other People's Houses

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Publisher's Summary

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.

Narrator cast list:

  • Ruth read by Jorjeana Marie
  • Dora read by Erin Tripp
  • Alyce read by Karissa Vacker
  • Hank read by Robbie Daymond

©2016 Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock (P)2016 Listening Library
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Critic Reviews

"...this is an exquisitely drawn, deeply heartfelt look at a time and place not often addressed. Hitchcock's measured prose casts a gorgeous, almost otherworldly feel over the text, resulting in a quietly lovely look at the various sides of human nature and growing up in a difficult world." ( Booklist)
"Using alternating narratives, debut novelist Hitchcock deftly weaves these stories together, setting them against the backdrop of a native Alaska that readers will find intoxicating. The gutsiness of these four teens who, at heart, are trying to find their places in the world and survive against challenging odds, will resonate with readers of all ages." ( Publishers Weekly)
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What members say

Overall Ratings

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    101
  • 4 Stars
    45
  • 3 Stars
    16
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    1

Customer Reviews

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5 out of 5 stars
By J Crane on 12-23-17

Could not put it down

Wonderful compelling story weaving. I enjoyed the intensity of the characters emotional lives and how it ended.

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1 person found this helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By E.F. Johnson on 09-12-17

Best 5 hours I've spent all summer

Beautiful story. Lovely characters. Highly recommend. My sincere thanks to the author and performers. Bravo.

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1 person found this helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By AnaB on 01-21-20

superb

ha sido una gran experiencia compartir mi lectura con una lectura en voz alta c

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4 out of 5 stars
By Genie on 02-16-19

I enjoyed this book, i wish it was longer.

I enjoyed this book, i wish it was longer. I liked the author's use of language. the story was sad, but vibrant.

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5 out of 5 stars
By Falineann on 01-08-19

Delightful

I loved this. It would be great for anyone to read/listen to. I think it is something that is quite lovely for young teenager to read.

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5 out of 5 stars
By Carol Hajek on 08-25-17

Amazing, Heart Lifting Stories

I loved this book! Four compelling stories of four teenagers leading separate, yet intertwined lives. The story is beautifully written with emotion, dedication, acceptance, loyalty, excitement and selfless love of each character in different ways blending all together in the final chapter of the book. All the narrators are truly amazing in their unique characterization of the character they are portraying. The author and narrators are outstanding. This a very enjoyable, captivating audiobook, and I highly recommend it.

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5 out of 5 stars
By Carmen on 07-02-17

What a wonderful story!

I absolutely loved this book! The writer is incredibly gifted at painting a picture that puts you right there with the characters - right down to the smells surrounding them.
The story of Ruth, Dora, Alice and Hank and the way their lives and stories intertwine is beautifully written and read wonderfully by each of the characters.
What a wonderful surprise!

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5 out of 5 stars
By Kaylee on 02-21-17

Absolutely wonderful

I loved the story so much. I loved the different perspectives in each chapter and seeing the characters appear throughout the story. I loved all the different connections made and was completely blindsided by most of them. Absolutely wonderful and addicting.

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5 out of 5 stars
By tracy turner on 12-29-16

A slice of home

What a privilege to read. This story brought me all the best kinds of tears.

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5 out of 5 stars
By Phyllis Oster on 09-19-16

Wow

What a great book! All the narrators read it so well. The story ends good!

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