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?
Cecelia Ahern has written an incredibly original piece of work with her latest book, ROAR. Due for release with Harper Collins on 25th October, ROAR is described as ‘witty, tender, surprising…keenly observed tales that speak to us all, and capture the moment when we all want to roar.’
I have approached my review slightly differently this time, as this is a very unusual short-story collection. There are thirty stories in full, so I have listed all of them, with a few thoughts of my own, as I feel it is important, in order to really give you a proper flavour of what this book is about.
I would like to thank Harper Collins Ireland for my advance copy of ROAR and as ever, my review is voluntary and unbiased.
About the Book:
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.
The Woman Who Slowly Disappeared
The Woman Who Was Kept on the Shelf
The Woman Who Grew Wings
The Woman Who Was Fed by a Duck
The Woman Who Found Bite Marks on Her Skin
The Woman Who Thought Her Mirror Was Broken
The Woman Who Was Swallowed Up by the Floor and Who Met Lots of Other Women Down There Too
The Woman Who Ordered the Seabass Special
The Woman Who Ate Photographs
The Woman Who Forgot Her Name
Each story in this collection has an underlying theme with a very strong message.
As a woman I found myself nodding my head and agreeing with so many of them and in some cases quite shocked by them. The Woman Who Found Bite Marks On Her Skin is one that particularly resonated with me. Many of us are subsumed with guilt on a daily basis, as we try to juggle our busy lives.
We find it difficult to say ‘No’ and are always wanting to please others, leaving us with a constant feeling that we are not doing enough.
Cecelia Ahern takes this guilt and literally describes, through one woman’s story, what this guilt does to us. It’s quite a graphic image, providing a shocking reality check about how we should deal with this guilt going forward.
As I read through these stories I was struck by the simplicity of the approach Cecelia Ahern has taken in presenting this compilation of stories to the world. Cecelia has interpreted everyday phrases in a very witty fashion yet also with a very meaningful message attached.
The Woman Who Walked in Her Husband’s Shoes is an example of this. The woman in the story literally walks in her husband’s shoes and she is immediately treated very differently. She could see life from her husband’s perspective and was quite surprised by what she discovered.
The Woman Who Has a Strong Suit is also a very quirky look at how we identify our strongest attributes and how we use these talents in life, sometimes without even realising it.
The Woman Who Had a Ticking Clock
The Woman Who Sowed Seeds of Doubt
The Woman Who Returned and Exchanged Her Husband
The Woman Who Lost Her Common Sense
The Woman Who Walked in Her Husband’s Shoes
The Woman Who Was a Featherbrain
The Woman Who Wore Her Heart on Her Sleeve
The Woman Who Wore Pink
The Woman Who Blew Away
The Woman Who Had a Strong Suit
The Woman Who Spoke Woman
The Woman Who Found Her World in Her Oyster
The Woman Who Guarded Gonads
The Woman Who Was Pigeonholed
The Woman Who Jumped on The Bandwagon
The Woman Who Smiled
The Woman Who Thought the Grass Was Greener on the Other Side
The Woman Who Unravelled
The Woman Who Cherry-Picked
The Woman Who Roared
This collection of stories is a mixed bag of tales. I think each person who picks up the book will walk away with a very personal and unique experience. Clearly we all must ROAR a little louder but we also need to be aware of our surroundings, of other people in our lives and of how we view ourselves and each other as women, but also as human beings.
The Woman Who Thought The Grass Was Greener on the Other Side is an example of this that applies to us all. How many of us look on longingly at what others have? How many of us drool over Instagram and Facebook posts, imagining the fabulous lives of other people? But the reality of this is that we have no idea what sufferings are behind those filtered smiles or the struggles people face just to put one foot on the floor every morning.
I always approach a short story compilation a little differently than other books. I leave it on a table in my living room and tend to read a couple of stories over a day. In the case of ROAR, I think that this is a necessary approach. The message can easily be lost if read all at once, as a repetitiveness can creep in. The stories are exaggerated truths, of that there is no doubt, but they are an eye-opener into our lives as women. There are plenty of moments in our lives when we want to just lock ourselves away and roar. As frustrations build up and the guilt kicks in, we need to be kinder to ourselves, to step back and take a moment to breathe.
ROAR is a book that challenges, a book that raises possibilities. It’s very very unconventional. There are stories in there that will resonate strongly and stories that will just not appeal. ROAR is like a ‘pick-and-mix’ bag of sweets, as you can dip in and out choosing a random story or selecting by the chapter titles that appeals. It is an inspirational book, a book that is quite stimulating, but also filled with plenty of laugh-out-loud moments, as you start to recognise how flippantly we use many of these phrases.
The magic of ROAR is that every woman will discover at least one story they can relate to. There is a moral attached to each tale, making it a parable of sorts. It is up to each reader how we interpret this message and how we chose to use it’s power.
Original. Thought-provoking. Pertinent.
Purchase Link ~ ROAR
After completing a degree in Journalism and Media Communications, Cecelia wrote her first novel at 21 years old. Her debut novel, PS I Love You was published in January 2004, and was followed by Where Rainbows End (aka Love, Rosie) in November 2004. Both novels were adapted to films
Cecelia has published a novel every year since then and to date has published 15 novels.
Cecelia’s books have sold 25 million copies internationally and are published in over 40 countries, in 30 languages.
ROAR, published 25th October 2018, is a collection of 30 short stories about 30 women.
For more ~ https://www.cecelia-ahern.com/
Twitter ~ @Cecelia_Ahern
I’m reading and enjoying this right now! Great review.
Thank you Linda! Such a different and original collection.
I have this on my TBR. Looking forward to getting in to it after reading this great review.
Thanks Julie. Hope you enjoy. Best read in stages…
Going to be reading this soon. I have the same approach as you to short story collections and dip in and out. Good to hear your thoughts on the book.