Review: The Humming Room

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: The Humming RoomThe Humming Room by Ellen Potter
Published by Feiwel & Friends on February 28, 2012
Genres: Adventure, Mystery, Retelling
Pages: 192
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Goodreads
three-half-stars

Hiding is Roo Fanshaw's special skill. Living in a frighteningly unstable family, she often needs to disappear at a moment's notice. When her parents are murdered, it's her special hiding place under the trailer that saves her life.

As it turns out, Roo, much to her surprise, has a wealthy if eccentric uncle, who has agreed to take her into his home on Cough Rock Island. Once a tuberculosis sanitarium for children of the rich, the strange house is teeming with ghost stories and secrets. Roo doesn't believe in ghosts or fairy stories, but what are those eerie noises she keeps hearing? And who is that strange wild boy who lives on the river? People are lying to her, and Roo becomes determined to find the truth.

Despite the best efforts of her uncle's assistants, Roo discovers the house's hidden room--a garden with a tragic secret.

Inspired by The Secret Garden, this tale full of unusual characters and mysterious secrets is a story that only Ellen Potter could write.

I absolutely adore retellings of classic tales, and Potter’s reimagining of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden is no exception. Although she didn’t make too many changes to the basic plot, she did manage to make the story her own.

Much of that comes from the changes in Roo’s character and background. She has the stubbornness and touchiness of Mary, but, in her case, this is not born of indolence or having been spoiled. Instead, it seems that she was largely neglected and not given enough care. As a result, she trusts only herself and tries to avoid others.

I also loved Roo’s connection to nature. She is much like Jack, in the fact that she understands nature better than people. She connects to the earth and to wild creatures, since they’re so much like she is. The little black squirrel sounds like the cutest. Why don’t I have wild animal friends?

Anyway, if you love The Secret Garden, prepare to take another trip into a magic garden that will restore those who enter it. If anything, The Humming Room is shorter than the original, so it’s a very quick, satisfying read.

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