Published by Feiwel & Friends on February 28th 2012
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.
While I knew the inspiration of this book came from The Secret Garden, I thought the story would not have too many similarities. I loved The Secret Garden as a child and was eager to read something inspired by that novel.
Roo is an orphan and fortunate to find that her uncle is wealthy and willing to take her under his wing. The place where he lives is full of sadness and there's this overwhelming secret filling the halls. Roo often hears the cry of a child and wonders if it is not a ghost, than what could it be. Also, she becomes intrigued by the idea of a strange wild boy roaming the river, supposedly living there. And when she meets him, she can't help but embark on an adventure with him.
Roo is less ready to meet the child whose cries fill the night. Someone who she finds challenging, yet she is stubborn enough to try and help this child in whatever way she can. This is where I really do think there are strong similarities to The Secret Garden and I really enjoyed that story as a child.
A must read for those of us that want to relive The Secret Garden.