The Scent of Heat

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 06 Nov 2018

Member Reviews

From the first page to the last, this book with its sensitivity, its commitment to family, was one I couldn't put down.   As a grandmother to a young woman similar in age I cared for Ariella who learned from painful mistakes in judgement. Set in Israel in the 1950's, this is a sensitive description of the loss of a parent, betrayal by a first love and the support of her family.  Highly recommended.
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What a disappointment! I don’t want to give away a spoiler but this read like a bad YA novel. The main character was immature and shallow. I skimmed the last quarter of the book, thankfully as it just got worse.
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I had high hopes of this novel but in the end it disappoints.
The main character is Ariella Paz a flirty and slightly naive 19 year old living with her family in Tel Aviv. The author states she has used her own family as a backdrop to the plot and in the dedication to those who have suffered breast cancer I think the story line about the illness is both realistic and tender.
Ariella is soldier in the Israeli Army as both men and women must serve in the military in their early years as adults.  Ariella is beautiful (and knows it) and a lot of the novel describes choices of clothes and accessories (mostly bought by her rich love interest) about which I wasn't very interested.
However we are given an insight into Israel in 1957 - no phones in homes. The still, in many areas, friendly links with the Arabs and the beauty of the scenery as the characters travel across the country.
As with many Jews, family is important and many distant relatives play a pivotal part in the novel - aunts in South Africa, cousins in America and the heritage of the family itself coming from Poland.
When Ariella meets the beautiful, and older Arik at her office (he's a friend of her boss) she quickly falls in love with him and steps into a whirlwind of gifts, sex and passion.
But is Arik all he appears to be?
Will the consequences of Ariella's decisions impact on herself or her family as she has to decide which way her life must go?
Overall a bit too unconvincing for me and I genuinely disliked the main character (perhaps even more than the men who should have been worse) I did like the family dynamics and some of Ariella's friends were nicely set against her flightiness.
I wouldn't want to read any further novels by this author unless she manages to develop characters beyond the superficial.
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A well-written debut novel from E.P. Sery. One that explores life and self-discovery. 

Nineteen-year-old Ariella endures the loss of her mother due to cancer. Before the diagnosis comes along Ariella seems to have her life mapped out and planned thoroughly. However, the loss of her mother throws her and her family into a state of disarray as they mourn the loss. At the same time a handsome man waltzes into Ariella's life and changes everything for her,

Arik shows up at one of Ariella's most vulnerable moments in her young life and sweeps her off her feet. However, he has secrets and plenty of them. At times Ariella is naive and short-sighted; too smitten with Arik to see there is something else going on. When his actual life starts to reveal itself she finds her will and morals tested. It isn't until a couple of unexpected life events take place that she finally realizes what course of action she needs to take. 

I enjoyed watching Ariella grow and unfold. I feel her journey, in this book, is comparable to a flower just pushing through the soil. By the book's end she is just at that point where the flower is about to burst open. I have a feeling her next adventures will let her settle more into herself and dazzle the world. Ariella is a strong character trying to what is best for herself and balance the needs of others who come to depend on her. 

Wonderfully told. A strong debut from E.P. Sery.
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