Friday, June 22, 2012

Have You Read The Humming Room?

I should be writing, but I can't resist picking up a book every evening and floating off to another world. The other day I grabbed The Humming Room by Ellen Potter. I couldn't put it down.

The Humming Room is a rewrite of The Secret Garden, but she's written it so beautifully, I'd call it more of a tribute. Ms. Potter's characters are much more interesting to me than the originals, and Roo is so fearless that I couldn't help but love her.

As Roo tells us, she's 'seen everything' in her short, tragic life. It's made her distrustful, independent, sneaky. It's also made her a survivor. From the very beginning, when she's hiding under the trailer where a tragedy has occurred, her spunk and determination are evident.

Then she meets the peculiar residents of Cough Rock. Her uncle is unapproachable and preoccupied and has no time for little Roo, but he can surprise us when we least expect it. Ms. Valentine is a rather forgettable character, but she's balanced with Violet, the young maid who befriends Roo and entertains her with ghost stories and tales of the grannies. I think her youth is a great match for Roo because she tosses back insult for insult as she laughs off Roo's attempts at aloofness and her "I don't care" attitude.

Then there's the Faigne. I love this character, but I'm not going to give you any details because you need to meet him for yourself. I will say that his calm demeanor is a lovely balance for Roo's volatile nature.

One would expect Roo to fill the role of the tragic character in this tale, and in many ways she does, but then we meet Phillip, who has been hidden in the house and entertains us with the expected temper tantrums and selfishness one would expect from the indulged heir. He and  Roo butt heads nicely while their friendship grows and Phillip struggles with his jealousy of the Faigne.

I was a little disappointed at the abruptness with which the book ended, because I wanted to watch the promise of the garden unfold in its fullness, but I suppose the author considered she had fulfilled her obligation by allowing us to see that everything was going to work out. I know we are taught to not linger over the ending once we get there. But I still wanted a little bit more.

Highly recommend you add this one to your to-read list. 

Have a lovely weekend, everyone.



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