The Smell of other People’s Houses – Review

This story “The Smell of other People’s Houses” by Bonnie – Sue Hitchcock has really knocked me off of my feet. How she manages to link all of the four stories so they find an entangled end is stunning. Alaska 1970 – eleven years after Alaska becoming the 49th state of the United States of America – is about to be very nerve racking for the small village named “Fairbanks”. The four 17 year olds Ruth, Alyce, Dora and Hank are living separate lives, three of them already calling Fairbanks their hometown.

As Ruth gets pregnant at the age of 16, her coldhearted grandmother sends her of to an abbey in Canada (because her father died and her mom is mentally ill). But does Ruth know everything about her grandmother or does she have some secrets to reveal as soon as Ruth returns?

Alyce is about to become a great dancer, but having to miss the auditions by going fishing with her father is breaking her heart. As she rescues a 16 year old boy named Sam her life on the boat takes a unexpected turn…

Because Dora’s father has abused her in the past, she is now living with her friend’s family. As they go to fish camp in summer, Dora’s friend Dumbling has a message from Ruth to give to her mother. But what does Ruth has to do with Dumpling’s family and why has Dumpling suddenly bonded with the pregnant girl?

Hank and his two brothers Jack and Sam are running away. No specific goals in mind, just trying to get away from their mother’s crazy boyfriend and the thought of their dead father. Leaving home on a ferry, Sam falls into the ocean. Believing he is dead, the two brothers get off the ferry, trying to start their new lives. Making acquaintance with a pregnant girl and the long journey to a village named “Fairbanks”, the two boys have to get used to the thought of their dead brother.

In my opinion this novel is one of the greatest of all time, being absolutely stunning and mysterious because everything has a meaning. Every person you meet has a function for the story: the night- watchman on the ferry, the abbess in Canada and even Ruth’s evil grandmother seems to know more about loss than you would have expected…

It is a absolute MUST to read this book because each story is worth telling, about loss, giving birth, friendship and family…


The Fault in Our Stars – Review

“The Fault in Our Stars” is probably the most famous book of 2012. The novel by John Green has changed the lives of many, describing the heartbreaking story of the 17 year old Hazel Grace, who is diagnosed with lung cancer.

It tells the final chapter of her life filled with cancer, sadness – and love. As she meets Augustus Waters in the “Cancer Kid Support Group” her life changes, and therefore also her view on death. Full of ambition, John Green tells the story of these two teenagers, their lives ruled by their diseases, who find a great friend and understander for their destiny in each other.

With humor, sadness and tragedy this books gives you a new perspective of illness by being able to explore it along with such a young woman sentenced to death. Being together, and being able to live and to love, changes their life.

As Augustus makes Hazels dream come true, they fly to Amsterdam together to meat Hazels favorite author. Together they learn, that things aren’t always as you want them to be, that people can turn out different and most importantly: that they both have the will to live…

The end of Hazel’s story was really emotional for me because you wouldn’t have expected this turnout.

This book is perfect for anyone, because it gives you perspective on death and life, on illness and the power of friendship.


PS: the movie is also worth watching!