Release Date: February 28th, 2012
Genre: Young Adult
Source: I own a copy
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.
Review: It has been a long time since I have read The Secret Garden, and I suppose I will have to reread it to follow up on the heels of this book. I did remember enough of the classic story to be able catch the references in Potter’s book. The Humming Room is a modern reboot of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s 1911 story, heavily borrowing from the same formula of the original children’s book. Potter takes great care to add in her own elements of friendship and mystery to set the book apart and prevented the story from becoming another knock-off of a classic.
The setting was absolutely beautiful as well. The prose and description seemed to flow in a light, natural manner, and carried a very provoking and meaning message with a light touch. The premise told a grueling story at times. The author, thankfully, handled the difficult and horrifying portions with care and empathy. I have the highest praise for Potter for creating a tough story with some adult themes, and spinning it into a touching and downright sweet book.