Scent Keeper
by Bauermeister, Erica

"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. 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"-

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.

For the longest time, Emmeline knew nothing of the world besides what her father had taught her. On a remote island, only accessible by small boat during the slack tide of a full moon, Emmeline and her father live and learn together: foraging and fishing, drying and curing. Without a formal education but years ahead of her peers in her understanding of the natural world, Emmeline is content with this nontraditional life. When her father's mental health declines and a horrible series of events results in his death, Emmeline has to learn how to function in contemporary society. Her entrance into the mainstream world doesn't come easily, but a hidden talent surprises everyone around her and paves the way for her future success. This coming-of-age story delights the senses, immersing the reader in the sights, sounds, and scents of the wilderness and city life. Fans of Mary Simses and Jennifer Close will fall in love with Bauermeister's plucky heroine, the layers of family secrets, the lush settings, and the painfully tender relationships. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.

A young girl with a unique talent for identifying scents embarks on a journey of self-discovery when she's ripped from her intensely isolated childhood home. Emmeline has lived with her father on an otherwise uninhabited island in the Pacific Northwest for as long as she can remember. Her father teaches her to read, to forage for food, and to hone her sense of smell. Emmeline doesn't question their isolation, as she's known nothing else. She adores the long days learning from her father, listening to fairy tales, and watching him use his mysterious machine. The machine produces "scent-papers" that her father stashes inside small glass bottles, each paper preserving a one-of-a-kind scent. When tragedy strikes, Emmeline is forced to relocate to the mainland. She is taken in by a kind, childless couple in a seaside village. Similar to a wild animal suddenly brought into captivity, 12-year-old Emmeline struggles to adapt. As she slowly establishes a new life, beginning school and navigating adolescence, questions about her father, her absentee mother, and her own identity continue to grow. The more she learns about her past, the harder it becomes to reconcile her childhood with her future. Told entirely from Emmeline's perspective, the novel contains three distinct sections. The first, where Emmeline is living in the wild, is suffused with wonder and enchantment. The author deftly describes the lush island and the awe of a little girl watching her father fill a cabin with mysterious bottles full of scents and dreams. Once Emmeline moves to the mainland, the patina of her youth wears off, and much of the magic of the story goes with it. Even so, the author's ability to describe scents, the nature in which they evolve, and how deeply they are tied to memory and emotion provides sufficient heft to keep the novel engaging and worthwhile. Told in a lyrical, haunting prose, the story provides fascinating information about the ways in which different fragr a nces can impact human behavior and the struggles of finding one's own identity. An artfully crafted coming-of-age story that will take the reader on an exquisite olfactory adventure. Copyright Kirkus 2019 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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