Young Roo is an expert hider. In fact, she prefers to be hidden and listening to the whispers of the earth around her.
When her parents are killed in a drug deal gone bad Roo is taking into foster care soon to be sent on to an uncle she didn’t know she had. This uncle lives the life of a recluse on an island only accessible via boat. The island, and the house on it, used to be a children’s hospital and stories of dying children and their ghosts might scare a girl whose life hadn’t been as difficult as Roo’s, but she is in her element.
In her explorations of the house and the island she discovers secrets she’s not meant to share in. All the while, fear she will be sent back to foster care hovers in the background. She doesn’t let that deter her, though, and hunts for answers to the questions her discoveries raise.
The story is well crafted with more than a passing nod to the classic tale “A Secret Garden.” Anyone who is at all familiar with the original story will see the similarities almost immediately. True to the Secret Garden, her interference with the status quo brings about miraculous changes to all involved. However, Ms. Potter has crafted a well-wrought tale that is original and unique even with the similarities.
My only complaint is that the ending felt forced and rushed. It was a too neat, tied up with a bow finale, to leave me completely satisfied with the book.
Note: I received an ARC of The Humming Room by Ellen Potter for review from NetGalley.