Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Date of publication: May 21st, 2019
Genre: Women’s Fiction
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 wasn’t too sure about this book when I first started reading it. I didn’t think that a book about scents would be a good read. The first couple of chapters seemed to cement my initial feelings about the book. Then something happened. The author was able to get me interested in scents. I started to enjoy reading the book. I wanted to know how Emmeline’s journey would end.
The main plotline, Emmeline’s search for answers, was beautifully written. I did wonder, at points during the book, why Henry and Colette didn’t tell Emmeline everything. I also wondered if they knew how well she smelled. I concluded that while they wanted to shelter Emmeline. After everything she had been through, they didn’t want to stress her out anymore.
Emmeline’s relationship with Fisher was a huge focal point in the latter half of the book. From the first day they met, I knew that they were soul mates. Fisher taught Emmeline how to look out for herself. He accepted her for herself. I understood why she needed to find him. I also understood her feelings when she was why he was fired. What I didn’t think was fair was that she compared him to his abusive father. They were apart for a couple of years. Of course, he is going to change!! But that comparison was stomped out when they got back together.
Emmeline’s search for her identity was heartbreaking. She kept getting the runaround from people who should have told her the truth. I kept wondering if she would ever find out why her father did what he did. It did happen, and I was surprised at what was revealed. Looking back, it made sense.
Like I said at the beginning of this review, I wasn’t sure if I would like this book. I had never read a book that was centered around scent. But the author was able to make it work. Emmeline was a savant when it came to smells. She more than proved that scents and memories are intertwined. The last scene in the book shows my point.
I would give The Scent Keeper an Older Teen rating. There is sex (nothing graphic). There is language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 16 read this book.
I would reread The Scent Keeper. I would also recommend this book to family and friends.
**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**