For fans of Rainbow Rowell, Louise Erdrich, Sherman Alexie, and Benjamin Alire Saenz, The Smell of Other People’s Houses intertwines stories of love, tragedy, wild luck, and salvation on the edge of America’s Last Frontier.
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 book is about people who try to save each other—and how sometimes, when they least expect it, they succeed.
Praise for The Smell of Other People’s Houses
“Hitchcock’s debut resonates with the timeless quality of a classic. This is a fascinating character study—a poetic interweaving of rural isolation and coming-of-age.”
—John Corey Whaley, Printz Award-winning author of Where Things Come Back
“An honest, gritty and moving portrait of growing up in Alaska. Only someone who knows and loves this place through and through could tell this story. From coastal rainforests to the salmon fishing grounds and on to the vast interior of Alaska, Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock follows the lives of teenagers who struggle against great odds to believe in themselves, redefine their ideas of family, and find each other. Do not expect a rose-tinted view. Hitchcock does not shy away from hard truths such as alcoholism and teenage pregnancy. But with its bunny boots, tough characters, fish slime, three-wheelers, kindness where you least expect it, and touch of romance, this book is Alaska. The poems from Alaskan writers and Rebecca Poulson’s woodcut prints are a beautiful addition.”
—Eowyn Ivey, New York Times-bestselling author of The Snow Child