The Scent Keeper

The Scent Keeper

Book - 2019
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"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"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : St. Martin's Press, 2019
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9781250200136
Branch Call Number: FICTION Bau
Description: 311 pages ; 25 cm


From Library Staff

February 2020's pick. From Reese: "This month we are reading The Scent Keeper by Erica Bauermeister and y’all… it is SO GOOD! This magical story is about a young woman, Emmaline, confronting the modern world for the very first time. As she embarks on a journey of digging up her past, she is ... Read More »

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FPL_AdamL Sep 23, 2020

This story explores the lure of scent and all it can uncloak, but does scent have the power to lead you back home? Written with such lush descriptive style the reader will be
immersed into the author's world.

Apr 29, 2020

I wasn’t sure what to expect with this novel but I can say confidently that I was not disappointed. Once I got through the first few chapters it became a book that I couldn’t put down. I really enjoyed the different storylines, characters and descriptive locations. I want to visit Secret Cove!! A great coming of age story with lots of characters you can’t help but be drawn to. Now what to read next...

Feb 25, 2020

I've been sitting for a while now to figure out what I have to say about 'The Scent Keeper'. That's not to say I didn't enjoy the book, I did. I simply can't seem to put why into words.

The writing of 'The Scent Keeper' reminds me of the description of the layers of a fragrance that give perfumes their balance. The top notes are the invitation of a fragrance and we are invited into the isolated, idyllic world of Emmaline, her father, their island. The mid notes, guide us further, through her coming of age, to and through the secrets of her loss and confusion. The base notes are the depth of The Scent Keeper as we delve down in to the why's of Emmaline's life.

I feel it is in the base notes the story became became muddled, lost, even as Emmaline found herself, and the truths of her past.

However, henceforth I will forever be using cardamom in my baking, because that was the scent, through Emmaline, that spoke to me the loudest.

There is one quote, one actually not regarding scent, that struck me. Oh how I wish every young person, especially those glued to social media, could learn this. "It's simple Emmaline. Nobody respects you if all you care about is what they think."

This book is beautifully crafted. Much like a good scent; the words flow over you as the reader, surrounding you, drawing you deeper into the story. I felt the description and stories bringing buried thoughts, memories, and feelings to the surface. I felt deeply for each character, their good and their bad. I was able to vividly see the settings the author created, from the sheltered island to the engulfing city. I absolutely loved this book and it will be heavily recommended to others.

Nov 19, 2019

I knew I would like this book because I have enjoyed the author’s other novels so much. This one is setting is opposite of the others, at least for most of it. As a resident of the PNW, I easily related to the landscape and weather. “...and the rain would settle on our good humor until it was cold and sodden.” (P. 25)
After an isolated upbringing, Emmaline is overwhelmed by most things: a tiny town, a dog, people, school, and most of all by all the scents she smells and receives information from. She relates every new experience to her island.
“I wondered how long it would take to break off each barnacle of a store, let the trees come back.” (p. 95)
“Facing the (teacher’s) desk were rows of strange little tables, each one attached to a seat like the shell of a hermit crab.” ( p. 97)
I would recommend this book to readers in high school and older. Bauermeister deals with family, growing up, finding where you belong, and trusting yourself.

Nov 07, 2019

Such a revelation of how powerful scent can be. It affects memories, shopping, mood.

Aug 01, 2019

I really enjoyed this book and recommend it to all teens and youth as a great start into more advanced, in-depth reading that involves your whole mind and soul and greatly enriches you and all of your senses and help you to imagine all the great things you can do. This book is about a young girl named Emmeline who grew up with her father on an isolated island and is all about her struggles and triumphs as she grows and uncovers more of her past and learned to better understand herself and her life. You never seem to anticipate the next curve ball that is thrown at you. This book makes you truly ponder your sense of smell and makes you want to read more, from the very beginning right till the end, and even still afterwards. I loved this book and encourage you to read it too!

Jun 09, 2019

I have been an avid fan of Erica Bauermeister since I read her first novel, The School of Essential Ingredients and I was not disappointed when reading The Scent Keeper. This is a coming-of-age story about Emmeline, a young child brought to an unhabited island by her father. She is raised there while being taught how to use her senses, especially her sense of smell. Her childhood is happy, leaving her completely ignorant of life outside of this small island and she is not prepared when she finds herself back in a world she is not equipped to live in. What makes this book special are the lyrical prose and the magical and original storyline. Each sentence is a gem. Read this book for the pure joy of the words. I highly recommend The Scent Keeper to anyone looking for something a little bit different.


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Nov 07, 2019

"...the smells rushed in. Car exhaust and hot oil, cold coffee and old urine. The sharp stink of fear-sweat. The deep purple bruise of longing. Over it all, like a lowering fog, the reek of asphalt and plastic. I slid down in my seat, pulling my sweater up over my nose." p 196

Jun 14, 2019

"Colette took a shine to Fisher. That's what she called it-- taking a shine. It made sense; I'd seen the way she rubber her one silver vase until the dark smudges left and the bright came through. She was like that with Fisher, too." p. 108

Jun 14, 2019

"In the end, truth seemed no easier to catch than the scent of violets. My father used to show me how their smell could be there, so clear and beautiful, and then vanish, only to return a few minutes later, as strong as it had ever been. You couldn't control it. You couldn't hold on to it. I'd thought it was a wonderful thing, back then." p. 87

Jun 14, 2019

I wish I could say that I knew what my father was feeling, or that I tried to guess. Grief makes a tunnel of our lives, and it is all to easy to lose sight of the other people in the darkness with us-- to wish they weren't there, so their loss would stop rubbing up against ours. My father and I desperately needed open space, clean air for our pain to move into. p. 45


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