Not too much to say except this latest by Bauermeister is pretty dry. I think that the problem is that once you move the story away from the Island that Emmeline and her father live the story gets bogged down rather quickly. And then Baumermeister speeds up the timeline and slows it down depending. I didn't much care for the epilogue either. There's so much that is left unsaid and you are supposed to just assume a lot of things not said I guess. I was looking for another story similar to "The School of Essential Ingredients" and this sadly reminded me of the problems that I had with "The Art of Mixing."
"The Scent Keeper" follows Emmeline, a little girl who lives alone with her father on an island. The two of them capture scents with a magical machine that her father uses. The scents are stored away in glass tubes in drawers and are not to be taken out. Emmeline lives in a great world for a while until the time comes when she realizes things that her father has told her are not true. When the real world comes to their island, Emmeline is forced into trying to make sense of things while still trying to return to the scent of her home with her father.
I wish that I had liked Emmeline. There's not a lot that is there for you to grab onto. I think things only became interesting when she got older and her friendship with Fisher was more developed. I can't really say too much more about anyone else in this story since Bauermeister did not develop the other characters much in my opinion.
The writing at times is lyrical and I have to say that I liked all of the parts at the beginning of the book when Emmeline is small and describing smells. I think after the story shifts to Emmeline leaving the Island it just didn't work anymore. It's pretty apparent that she should have had counseling or something and nothing is done. And I have to say the whole story-line about her father and who he was made zero sense to me since you would think that someone would have put two and two together especially when it's noted on how the City is close to where she is now.
The setting of the Island was wonderful and it felt like paradise. I have to agree with other reviewers that the book loses its charm as soon as we move away from there.
The ending as I said earlier didn't really work. I just thought it was too open-ended and that there are a ton of things that are skipped that I as a reader would have liked to know more about.