I’m enormously grateful to Emilie Chambeyron at Harper Collins for sending me a copy of Roar by Cecelia Ahern in return for an honest review and for inviting me to be part of Roar‘s launch celebrations.
Published yesterday, 1st November 2018, by Harper Collins Roar is available for purchase through these links.
I am woman. Hear me roar.
Have you ever imagined a different life?
Have you ever stood at a crossroads, undecided?
Have you ever had a moment when you wanted to roar?
The women in these startlingly original stories are all of us: the women who befriend us, the women who encourage us, the women who make us brave. From The Woman Who Slowly Disappeared to The Woman Who Was Kept on the Shelf and The Woman Who Returned and Exchanged her Husband, discover thirty touching, often hilarious, stories and meet thirty very different women. Each discovers her strength; each realizes she holds the power to make a change.
Witty, tender, surprising, these keenly observed tales speak to us all, and capture the moment when we all want to roar.
My Review of Roar
Roar is an eclectic mix of thirty short stories about women.
What an intelligent, sensitive and thought provoking collection Cecelia Ahern has produced in Roar. Each of these thirty stories is a little triumph that is so satisfying to read. I did wonder if being an ‘older’ reader made me appreciate them more than I might have done had I been thirty years younger and with fewer similar experiences to the women in Roar, but for me there was much to relate to and identify with making me feel a real kinship with the women presented. Not every story will resonate with every reader (I actually liked the final title story the least!) and I think this is what is so important about a volume like Roar. Cecelia Ahern has provided thirty very individual stories that will be read differently depending on the experiences and emotions of the reader. I have a feeling that next time I pick up this collection I may very well find something different to identify with.
Although each story is unique, with many varied genres from romance to fantasy, they all have many elements in common. Most strikingly is the fact that none of the women is named so that they could be any one of us, creating an affinity that is very powerful indeed. I most identified with The Woman Who Thought Her Mirror Was Broken, but I found them all uplifting and positive, even to the extent of restoring my faith in some elements of my life. I found every story had a distinct identity and a deep feeling of the author caring not only about her characters, but her readers too.
Quite feminist in flavour, once or twice I wondered whether the stories were edging towards misandry, but then realised that what Cecelia Ahern is doing, is not vilifying men (such as some of those who may mock a waitress with a lisp perhaps), but is providing powerful, salient lessons so that women can see that they have control over their lives and do not need others to define them or create their happiness and well-being for them. This is very powerful indeed.
Incredibly well crafted, the stories in Roar have humour and pathos, sadness and joy so that there is an emotion to suit any mood. I found this collection an enormously entertaining celebration of women. It made me think and it actually empowered me in many ways. Roar is a collection to be roared about!
About Cecelia Ahern
(Image courtesy of Matthew Thompson)
Cecelia Ahern is one of the biggest selling authors to emerge in the past fifteen years. Her novels have been translated into thirty languages and have sold more than twenty-five million copies in over forty countries. Two of her books have been adapted as major films and she has created several TV series in the US and Germany. She and her books have won numerous awards, including the Irish Book Award for Popular Fiction for The Year I Met You in 2014. PS I Love You was awarded two Platinum Awards at the 2018 Specsavers Bestsellers Awards, for UK and Ireland.
Cecelia lives in Dublin with her family.
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