The Scent Keeper by Erica Bauermeister | St. Martin’s Press | Book Review

The Scent Keeper by Erica Bauermeister

The Scent Keeper by Erica Bauermeister

Book Summary:

“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.”

My Rating:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

My Review:

Have you ever been in a reading funk? A couple of months ago I was having a hard time becoming fully immersed in anything I was reading. When St. Martin’s Press reached out and offered the opportunity to join their spring book tour for The Scent Keeper, I gladly accepted. I was ready to try something new and I was super intrigued by the summary of Erica Bauermeister’s newest fiction novel.

I dove right into the Scent Keeper that weekend and it was one of those books that just took me away from the very first page. The scenes are described so beautifully and I was was able to picture everything so perfectly from Bauermeister’s incredible storytelling. If you would like to learn more about Bauermeister, I was able to ask her some questions about this book and her work as an author last week and you can find that post HERE.

The Scent Keeper is a coming of age story with the element of incorporating the senses, in particular, the power of scent. The characters are raw and flawed, which I always find makes stories so much stronger. There are hidden secrets, self-discovery, and transformation, and the ending will leave you guessing but also feeling open to the power of your own imagination. When thinking of the genre this would fit into, it really is in the realm of its own.

If you enjoyed Where The Crawdads Sing and The Great Alone, I feel like this would be a wonderful addition to your spring and summer reading list. The Scent Keeper takes you away into a place you probably haven’t traveled to before in your reading world, and I can’t wait to read what Bauermeister comes out with next.

A huge thank you to St. Martin’s Press for having me on their blog tour and offering me the chance to share about this wonderful novel, AND providing one of my readers with a book giveaway of the Scent Keeper.

Where The Forest Meets The Stars by Glendy Vanderah | Lake Union Publishing | Book Review

Where the Forest Meets the Stars by Glendy Vanderah

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Book Summary:

“After the loss of her mother and her own battle with breast cancer, Joanna Teale returns to her graduate research on nesting birds in rural Illinois, determined to prove that her recent hardships have not broken her. She throws herself into her work from dusk to dawn, until her solitary routine is disrupted by the appearance of a mysterious child who shows up at her cabin barefoot and covered in bruises.

The girl calls herself Ursa, and she claims to have been sent from the stars to witness five miracles. With concerns about the child’s home situation, Jo reluctantly agrees to let her stay—just until she learns more about Ursa’s past.

Jo enlists the help of her reclusive neighbor, Gabriel Nash, to solve the mystery of the charming child. But the more time they spend together, the more questions they have. How does a young girl not only read but understand Shakespeare? Why do good things keep happening in her presence? And why aren’t Jo and Gabe checking the missing children’s website anymore?

Though the three have formed an incredible bond, they know difficult choices must be made. As the summer nears an end and Ursa gets closer to her fifth miracle, her dangerous past closes in. When it finally catches up to them, all of their painful secrets will be forced into the open, and their fates will be left to the stars.”

My Rating:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

My Review:

I initially glossed over this book because I wasn’t sure about the description but then I read a bunch of amazing review for it from my reading buddies and I had to see what it was all about.

This is such an example of not judging a book by its cover because it was so much more than I was expecting. I will admit, I don’t read books that are sci-fi or fantasy, EVER and I totally threw this one into that category and moved right along. One of the most wonderful things about being a part of the online reading community is the ability to be inspired to try books that are out of my comfort zone.

The gorgeous storytelling and amazing relationships in this book were the highlights of this book for me and I cannot believe this is Vanderah’s debut novel! While this book did have a paranormal aspect, that really wasn’t what stood out for me as the reader. The story of friendship, connection, and healing are so powerful and I am so happy I gave this one a chance.

Thank you to NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Montauk by Nicola Harrison | St. Martin’s Press | Book Review

Montauk by Nicola Harrison

Montauk by Nicola Harrison

Book Summary:

“Montauk, Long Island, 1938.

For three months, this humble fishing village will serve as the playground for New York City’s wealthy elite. Beatrice Bordeaux was looking forward to a summer of reigniting the passion between her and her husband, Harry. Instead, tasked with furthering his investment interest in Montauk as a resort destination, she learns she’ll be spending twelve weeks sequestered with the high society wives at The Montauk Manor―a two-hundred room seaside hotel―while Harry pursues other interests in the city.

College educated, but raised a modest country girl in Pennsylvania, Bea has never felt fully comfortable among these privileged women, whose days are devoted not to their children but to leisure activities and charities that seemingly benefit no one but themselves. She longs to be a mother herself, as well as a loving wife, but after five years of marriage, she remains childless while Harry is increasingly remote and distracted. Despite lavish parties at the Manor and the Yacht Club, Bea is lost and lonely and befriends the manor’s laundress whose work ethic and family life stir memories of who she once was.

As she drifts further from the society women and their preoccupations and closer toward Montauk’s natural beauty and community spirit, Bea finds herself drawn to a man nothing like her husband –stoic, plain spoken and enigmatic. Inspiring a strength and courage she had almost forgotten, his presence forces her to face a haunting tragedy of her past and question her future.

Desperate to embrace moments of happiness, no matter how fleeting, she soon discovers that such moments may be all she has, when fates conspire to tear her world apart…”

My Rating:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

My Review:

Montauk is the debut novel by Nicola Harrison. Through the eyes of Beatrice Bordeaux, we are taken to the shores of Montauk which was still a sleepy town in the late 1930s. Beatrice finds out that she will be spending the summer at the new luxury resort Montauk Manor which is nestled in a closely knit village.

Life for both Beatrice and the U.S. is a bit tumultuous at the time and we learn about her struggles in her own marriage and roles as a woman while also getting a wider view of life around her..specfically the small fishing town and the residents who many are barely making it by.

While being a character study, there are nods to anti-Semitism, sexism, privilege, loss, and fertility. Harrison’s descriptions of the people, clothing, and environment drew me right into this storyline. Her writing is captivating and engrossing and the multifaceted characters and storylines added a lot of depth that made this so much more than just a beachy romance.

I rooted for Beatrice and loved seeing her find her courage and strength once again. I highly recommend this beautifully written story and if you have enjoyed books by Anita Shreeve or Beatrix Williams I think you will enjoy this one as well.

Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.