Review: The Scent Keeper by Erica Bauermeister

RATING: 8/10


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.


“Scents were always about what was growing and what was dying. What would last through the next season. This was just with people instead of trees or flowers or dirt. Maybe I could read them after all. The thought gave me hope.”

The Scent Keeper was picked by Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club (Hello Sunshine) as the book of the month for February 2020. This book to me is very original in the sense that it revolves around scents and how scents bring up memories. I am amazed by how the author described smells throughout this book. It is so vibrant and at times, I felt like breathing in and taking in the smell of the scents that have been described by her in the book.

I also caught some Where The Crawdad Sings (by Delia Owens) vibes when I’m reading this book as it is also about the coming of age story of a young girl (Emmeline) from an isolated island who traveled to an unfamiliar world and was then used by her own mother. Issues such as school bullying and domestic violence are also discussed briefly in this book. The secrets that Emmeline’s dad kept from her added some mysterious aura to the book and I am intrigued to know what is the truth behind the fact that Emmeline and her father being stranded in an isolated island.

The Scent Keeper is easy to read, fast paced, and it is definitely very different from the other books that I have read previously. A strong 8/10 stars from me and I’m loving the picks from Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club!

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