Erica Bauermeister, the national bestselling author of The School of Essential Ingredients, presents a moving and evocative coming-of-age novel about childhood stories, families lost and found, and how a fragrance conjures memories capable of shaping the course of our lives.
Emmeline lives an enchanted childhood on a remote island with her father, who teaches her about the natural world through her senses. What he won’t explain are the mysterious scents stored in the drawers that line the walls of their cabin, or the origin of the machine that creates them. As Emmeline grows, however, so too does her curiosity, until one day the unforeseen happens, and Emmeline is vaulted out into the real world--a place of love, betrayal, ambition, and revenge. To understand her past, Emmeline must unlock the clues to her identity, a quest that challenges the limits of her heart and imagination. Lyrical and immersive, The Scent Keeper explores the provocative beauty of scent, the way it can reveal hidden truths, lead us to the person we seek, and even help us find our way back home.
I've read The School of Essential Ingredients and really enjoyed it, so I was really looking forward to Erica Bauermeister's newest novel, The Scent Keeper! This book was magical! Parts of it reminded me a lot of Where the Crawdads Sing--a beautiful coming of age story first about survival but then about figuring out her true past, all set against the premise of scents. Sure, smells are something you think about--but not like this. This book made me think of smells in a whole new way--the smells of nature, how different seasons smell differently, how people smell differently, and how smells can influence your thoughts and memories. I loved Emmaline's beloved dog, Dodge, and the bond she had with him because understood smells in a similar way that dogs do--to tell them who to trust (or not to trust, in the case of Martin). I adored Fisher, and Collette, and Henry. I loved the feeling of living in this world with these characters and didn't want this book to end. I actually felt the ending was left hanging a bit--I was so sad to see the book end and desperately want to know what happens to Emmaline and Fisher. I highly recommend this beautiful, thought provoking, emotional book!!
About the Author:
Erica Bauermeister is the author of the bestselling novel The School of Essential Ingredients, Joy for Beginners, and The Lost Art of Mixing. She is also the co-author of the non-fiction works, 500 Great Books by Women: A Reader’s Guide and Let’s Hear It For the Girls: 375 Great Books for Readers 2-14. She has a PhD in literature from the University of Washington, and has taught there and at Antioch University. She is a founding member of the Seattle7Writers and currently lives in Port Townsend, Washington.