The Humming Room
By: Ellen Potter
Feiwel and Friends
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.
Roo Fanshaw has always been in her own world, different from everyone else around her. It works to her advantage when while hiding under her family's trailer home, her parents are murdered. She is saved by her unique propensity for hiding. Roo is sent to live with her Uncle on Cough Rock Island, a place that used to be a tuberculosis hospital for children that is said to be haunted. At first she is miserable and refuses to behave, but slowly Cough Rock becomes her home. However, there are secrets being kept from her. Hearing strange noises and not believing in ghosts, Roo investigates and discovers that she has a cousin who is ill. They decide to nurse his dead Mother's garden back to life, which proves a task for them, a mysterious boy named Jack who's a force of nature and the magic that flows in the Earth. But can each of them heal and grow themselves? This book at first was interesting to me. I saw that it was inspired by The Secret Garden which is such a great book I knew I had to give this one a chance. However, I ended up being completely disgusted by it's blatant rip-off of Hodgeson-Burnett's original work of fiction. The only things different in this book are the teasing incorporation of what might be magic, the character's names, the time-period and place (island versus England). Other than that the idea of a secret garden, two cousins who are both damaged, a boy who's in tune with nature and other numerous similarities (disgruntled housekeeper being a large one) contribute to make this book not inspired, by the original work but basically a very similar retelling. What makes me the most angry is that it doesn't credit the fact that it's a straight-up retelling, instead saying it's only inspired by it which is a total crock. This book was a rip-off plain and simple - it should be wiped off the map altogether. Plagiarism is ALWAYS WRONG - even if the original author is dead and therefore can't be offended.
VERDICT: 0/5 Stars
*I received an Advanced Reading E-book Copy from the publisher, via NetGalley. No money or favors were exchanged for this review. This book was published February 28th, 2012.*