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Nine powerful interlinked stories of teenage lives in small town America
Exhibiting the same intense sense of place as in her highly acclaimed debut, The Smell of Other People’s Houses, and set once again in Alaska and the American West during the 1990’s, this collection demonstrates absolutely remarkable storytelling and authenticity. Every word in each short story counts in bringing another character so vividly to life that we become completely immersed in their lives. These troubled teens encounter love, loss, coming of age, grief, abuse, and friendships with the minutiae of daily life often revealing or foreshadowing a deeper and darker truth. All the narratives share the backdrop of an increasingly devasting forest fire and the history of a little girl’s disappearance. Each story relates to these major events in different ways and the links between the individual stories and these shattering events gradually become apparent. What is also revealed is the universal dichotomy of small communities, where everybody knows everybody and yet does not actually know them at all. The struggle to get your voice heard and for people to accept your truth is at the heart of these beautifully crafted stories. This is a book which should be garlanded with awards and will definitely linger long in the reader’s mind.
Author Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock said: ‘I’m so excited for readers to experience these small towns and their quirky, complex characters. When the world is on fire, we need each other more than ever . . .’
The second, highly anticipated novel from Carnegie-shortlisted author Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock.
Come on a journey across the rural American West . . . Meet the teenagers who live in the small towns across these states, separated by distance, but whose stories are woven together in the most unexpected of ways. Whether they are brought together by the spread of wildfire, by the priest who's moved from state to state or by the hunt for a missing child, these incredible tales blaze with secrets, rage and love. A novel like no other, this intricate, intense and beautiful book will take your breath away.
'A clever and unusual novel . . . powerful.' Sally Nicholls
'Gorgeous and compelling . . . breathtaking.' Katherine Webber
'A beautiful literary writer.' The Bookseller
'It's cut like a gemstone. Turn the pages, and facets gleam.' Hiliary McKay
'Beautifully observed and deeply satisfying.' Lisa Williamson
'Breathes life into wonderful, complex characters.' Lisa Heathfield
'A heartbreakingly brilliant tangle of teenage voices.' Judith Eagle
Praise for The Smell of Other People’s Houses;
‘This book reaches through the mêlée of voices in YA; its smell, or scent, fresh and alluring.’ – Independent
‘An exceptional coming of age novel.’– The Sunday Times, Book of the Week
‘A captivating debut by an exciting new author.’ – Guardian
‘Ambitious and original, this transports the reader effortlessly both in time and space.’ – Metro
‘Gorgeous.’ – Spectator
|Publication date:||20th April 2021|
|Publisher:||Faber & Faber|
|Year Groups:||Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4|
Born and raised in Alaska and a longtime journalist for Alaska Public Radio, Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock spent ten years fishing commercially and raised her children on a boat in Southeast Alaska - bringing a rare authenticity to her writing about America's last frontier. She now lives in Lyons, Colorado, where she's slowly rebuilding her house after the catastrophic floods of September 2013. THE SMELL OF OTHER PEOPLE'S HOUSES is her first novel.More About Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock