Book Review: “The Humming Room” by Ellen Potter
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.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The story begins with Roo hiding beneath her trailer, after her father and his girlfriend are murdered. Shortly after, Roo is taken to live with her uncle – a man that she’s never met, on Cough Rock. Used to being left on her own, Roo struggles to deal with the watchful eyes of her uncle’s staff. She finds herself wondering off throughout her new home, discovering that there are many secrets hidden on Cough Rock.
I thoroughly enjoyed “The Humming Room”. Roo is a truly fantastic character. I love how adventurous she is. I love how even though she hears the humming and the crying, it doesn’t frighten her like it would most people. In fact, it only makes her more curious, forcing her to keep snooping. Roo is a very take-charge kind of character; she’s smart, she’s curious, and she’s tough.
My only problem with “The Humming Room” would have to be the ending. I just felt like between chapter twenty and twenty-one, things just kind of went full speed ahead. The ending just felt somewhat rushed.
While it’s evident throughout that “The Humming Room” was inspired by “The Secret Garden”, Potter still manages to make the story her own. If you’re looking for a short, exciting read, I’d highly suggest checking out “The Humming Room”. It is a truly fantastic modern re-telling of “The Secret Garden”.
Fun fact: The Kindle version of “The Humming Room” comes with “The Secret Garden” (it’s probably the same for the Nook version as well, but I’m not entirely sure). I thought that was a wonderful idea, to include the book that inspired “The Humming Room”.