When I started reading this book, I was almost instantly hooked. I loved the development of the plot, the characters and the messages that were being portrayed. It was such a refreshingly wonderful read.
What book is it? The Scent Keepter
Who’s it by? Erica Bauermeister
What category is it in? Coming of Age Fiction
What is it about? Emmeline is a ten year old girl that lives on a desolate island with her elusive father, John. They live without modern comforts and spend their days foraging for sustenance and tending to their garden. John is also a scientist and has an extensive collection of small viles filled with one paper each and sealed with colored wax. Emmeline grows up wondering and asking those little viles contain. All she knows is that once a season her and her father make a new vile with a new piece of paper.
As Emmeline grows up, things begin to shift and change between her and her father. As she learned more and asks more questions, she begins to feel that her father may not be telling her the whole truth. Her father also begins to turn into himself, shutting himself off from everything other than the viles. Emmeline begins to resent those little viles and the secrets they hold. As tension mounts between her and her father, she begins to throw those viles into the ocean one by one. Her father figures out what she is doing and ends up dying in a tragic accident.
After her father’s death, Emmeline is taken in by Henry and Collette, the couple that had secretly been providing her and her father with supplies for years. The couple help Emmeline acclimate to modern life, teaching her how to use a phone, what a car is and so much more. As Emmeline begins school, she gains a best friend, Fisher, despite the rest of her schoolmates not being particularly kind.
Eventually Emmeline becomes curious about who her father actually was and her past. After figuring out the internet and delving into research, she begins finding answers. This all comes to a stop when she inadvertently starts a row between Fisher and his abusive father. Fisher decides he can no longer live in that house and he and Emmeline run away to her old island. This does not last long and all comes crashing down when Fisher’s father and Henry find them.
Fisher runs away to the big city, not telling anyone where he is specifically. Emmeline tries to distract herself by focusing on school and researching her mysterious mother and where Fisher has gone. While she never figures out the later, she does figure out who her mother is (Victoria), where she lives (the big city) and what she does (a perfumer). Emmeline eventually also runs away to the big city to find her mother and Fisher. Excitement and growth ensue.
What did I think? Overall I absolutely loved the book! It was intriguing and kept me interested throughout the book. I loved the main characters and were routing for them from start to finish. I loved the concept of the book and how unique it is. I also loved that even though there was a romantic storyline that ran throughout the book, it didn’t feel like the main storyline. I enjoyed that it focused more on the coming of age of the main character, Emmeline. My only criticism was the ending. It seemed to be really rushed toward the end. I wish the author had taken the time to really give the ending the time that it deserved.
Would I recommend it? Absolutely! I loved this book and was hooked from the very beginning!