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Book Review: The Scent Keeper

by | Aug 15, 2020 | Books

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Reese’s Book Club has been a great resource for me to find books to read. Some of the authors of books on this list have written other books that I absolutely adore, like The Two Lives of Lydia Bird. In February 2020, the pick was “The Scent Keeper” by Erica Bauermeister. The Scent Keeper is a wonderful coming of age story and highlights the importance of your senses.

At the beginning of the novel, Emmeline lives with her father on a remote island in the Pacific Northwest. Her Emmeline’s father has taught her to survive by crafting her sense of smell, while he spends their days capturing different scents using science. After a tragic accident, Emmeline now lives at a summer resort [The Cove] with the owners, Henry and Claudia. She soon discovers that Henry and Claudia had been helping her and her father survive on the island. As she learns about life on the mainland during her middle school and high school years, she discovers secrets about her parents and her past that takes her on a journey of self-discovery.

I was not expecting to enjoy The Scent Keeper as much as I did. I had a hard time picking places to stop to do things like go to sleep. Bauermeister did a wonderful job with describing scents in the book as if you could smell them right then and there. It was a captivating, unique storyline that made me want to keep reading. We eventually get to meet her mother and discover how scents can aide businesses, which I didn’t realize was a profession. I also loved how Fisher and Emmeline’s relationship progressed and how they learn to forge their own paths while trying not to be exactly like their parents. I also loved how Bauermeister correlated Emmeline’s coming-of-age growth with the aging of Henry and Claudia’s dog: Dodge.

For my 2020 Reading Challenges, I used “The Scent Keeper” for the following prompts and challenges:

When I started the PopSugar Reading Challenge, I had absolutely no idea what a bildungsroman was. For those that have no idea like me, here’s the official definition from Merriam-Webster Dictionary:

bildungsroman (literature ): a novel about the moral and psychological growth of the main character

Usually, bildungsroman novels are associated with teenagers, but the definition makes me think that any book that involves serious psychological growth of the main character. The definition clearly fits for The Scent Keeper. Erica Bauermeister wrote Emmeline as a wonderful, relatable character that most readers can see themselves as. The ending did seem a bit abrupt, and I wished there was a bit more closure at the end of the story, but otherwise, The Scent Keeper is a great, unique read that will keep your sense tingling.

“Sometimes there were those unreal perfumes, jumbling and talking too loudly—but underneath them I could always find the person. Sadness, like the dark purple juice of a blackberry. Fear, like the metallic taste of an oncoming storm. Love, which smelled like nothing so much as fresh bread.” – The Scent Keeper

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  1. Kelly

    Sounds interesting! Might have to check that one out.

  2. Alyx (@CourantConversations)

    Cannot wait to read – thanks for the review!

  3. Kadie

    This sounds really interesting. I think I will add it to my reading list!

  4. Karletta

    I don’t usually read fiction, but I’m keen to read this one – a book highlighting the importance of our senses sounds like a great book!

  5. Beth

    Wow.. my vocabulary just expanded with this! Thanks for sharing.

  6. Gwen

    I am intrigued. I’ve never heard of this one but it sounds beautiful! I’ll be reserving it at the library right away. Thanks so much!

  7. Liv Lenore

    I loved this book as well! The author’s writing style was absolutely amazing!

  8. Ngozi |

    This seems like a very interesting book to read. Thanks for the review!

  9. rosemary | a hint of rosemary

    Been looking for a good book to read. I think I just found it! Thank you!

  10. JoJo Hall

    This sounds very interesting and captivating. I’ll have to check it out!

  11. Erika

    OMG. This book sounds very intriguing. I’ll have to check it out

  12. Phylecia M

    Great review! The book sounds like a captivating read. Who knew one can write smells so well?!

  13. Aaliziyah

    This sounds like a great book. The way you described it made me want to really read it.

  14. Samantha | A Thriving State of Mind

    Ok I’m intrigued, have to read it! I’ve never read a book that focused on the sense of smell before.

  15. June

    I really liked this book. The characters that you list should be Henry and Colette. Claudia was her mother’s employee that trained her and was mean to her. Good review. Thanks!

  16. MariaTogs

    Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS)


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Lifestyle blogger and digital marketer based in Wisconsin. Michigander at heart. I'm here to provide my take on life through my blog. Fueled by chardonnay, cast recordings and chocolate.