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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

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  • Coming-of-age

    I have been an avid fan of Erica Bauermeister since I read her first novel, The School of Essential Ingredients and I was not disappointed when reading The Scent Keeper. This is a coming-of-age story about Emmeline, a young child brought to an unhabited island by her father. She is raised there while being taught how to use her senses, especially her sense of smell. Her childhood is happy, leaving her completely ignorant of life outside of this small island and she is not prepared when she finds herself back in a world she is not equipped to live in. What makes this book special are the lyrical prose and the magical and original storyline. Each sentence is a gem. Read this book for the pure joy of the words. I highly recommend The Scent Keeper to anyone looking for something a little bit different. Thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for the e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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  • An Excellent Read!

    In our everyday lives we don't always recognize the extent that our emotions and memories depend on our sense of smell. And when we hear of an outstanding 'nose', it generally has some slightly pretentious reference to wines. Erica Bauermeister brings us way beyond those impulsive impressions. By the end of my marathon reading of the novel The Scent Keeper I could appreciate much more realistically what the nose knows. Emmeline is raised by her father in complete isolation on a small island off the coast of Washington state. Access to the island is limited to one day a month when the full moon high tide grants access to a rock strewn channel that allows a small, narrow boat entrance to the beach on the island's inland cove. Emmeline doesn't miss other people - all she has ever known is the company of her father, who is her provider, her teacher, her playmate. And along with her numbers and letters she is awakened to her 'nose'. One wall of their cabin is filled with books, another with little drawers holding little wax-sealed bottles containing a small paper filled with an isolated scent of time, place, people, a scent that can bring back to John all the emotions of that exact moment in time. Once a month, her father ritualistically tells her of an occasion, opens a bottle, usually one of those sealed with red wax and stored in the lower drawers, and shares the scent with her, then reseals the bottle with wax and replaces it in its isolated drawer. He often works on the small machine that 'prints' the papers, and when a bottle is opened and the paper is no longer scented to even John's trained nose, they ritualistically burn the paper, enjoying the bloom of scent brought out by the heat of the fire, and retire the bottle. John is a teller of tales, and they often read from an edition of fairy tales containing a gap near the middle of the book where a tale is obviously missing. But there are many tales available, and Emmeline's mild curiosity about that missing one is easily overwhelmed by yet another, personal fairy tale as told by John. . But as she gets older, Emmeline realizes that a great deal of her life, the world she knows, is based on lies. Lies told to her by the only person she thought she knew. There are no mermaid parties on the night of the full moon that deposit driftwood and seaweed and black plastic boxes of supplies on the beach at the protected cove. There was no hero named Jack who collected scents from the world and stored them in the green wax sealed bottles stored on the top row of drawers in their cabin. And her birthday cannot possibly be the first day of the spring full moon because that's not a constant date, and changes with every season. Who can you trust, if the only person you know lies to you about important things? And how can you learn the truth in total isolation? Emmeline's rebellion starts a downhill slide that will change her world drastically. Can she adapt? Only time, and Erica Bauemeister, will tell. I received a free electronic copy of this novel from Netgalley, Erica Bauermeister, and St. Martin's Press. Thank you for sharing your hard work with me. I have read this novel of my own volition, and this review reflects my honest opinion of this work.

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  • A DELIGHT FOR THE SENSES

    Another beautifully written book by Erica Bauermeister. Erica paints feelings and senses with her words....reading her books are a visceral experience for me. I am a participant not just an observer of the story. Love this book!

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  • Magical

    This book was a wonderful reading experience. I love the fairytale feel and learning about scents that surround us. I'm hoping I will notice the scents that surround me. I love Chanel No. 5 because it reminds me of my mother. I love the characters I met in this novel, good and bad. I love that I felt emotions coming from the words on the page. This is a page turner that I had trouble putting down, yet there were times when I needed to put it down to sort my way through the emotions I received. This book has changed me in a good way. I wish I knew these characters in real life, but I'm grateful for this reading experience. I recommend this book highly.

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  • Almost Gave Up!

    I've loved all of Erica Bauermeister's novels so couldn't wait to start this one, but I almost quit reading it, as I found it very slow to start and hard to get in to. But...I'm glad I read it to the end! This story of Emmaline and her hermit father live on an uninhabited island and rely on their sense of smell for life. When Emmaline has to leave the island and join society, she is a fish out of water. Eventually, she learns to survive, but she reminds us how much our sense of smell can take us back to earlier memories. This is a delightful entertaining book. I'm so glad I read it!!!

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