ROAR by Cecelia Ahern – Book Review

IMG_20180915_164259_203.jpgThe Blurb:

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.

Published in ebook and Hardback formats by HarperCollins on 1st November 2018

Available to buy here at Hive or at other bookshops.

My Thoughts:

The book opens with the famous epigraph:

I am woman, hear me roar, in numbers too big to ignore

-Helen Reddy and Ray Burton

Meaningful lyrics that epitomise the aim of this book as part of the movement to raise up voices of all women and their varying and important stories.

Each chapter is a short story (of varying length) that often takes a whimsical or even absurd twist, very cleverly done, to convey allegories of common phrases and realities of women throughout their lives (such as being “eaten up” by Mum guilt, gender policing, access to birth control, or “wanting the ground to swallow you up” after humiliation).

These stories are modern day parables for women. All women. Older women, trans women, Mums, married women, refugee women, grieving women, daughters, successful women, women who make unpopular decisions, etc.

I think the interesting thing about these stories are that they will resonate differently with you depending on your life experiences and what stage in life you are, but there will, I guarantee, be at least one story that hits you hard.


There were several favourite chapters of mine: The Woman Who Wore Pink, The Woman Who Spoke Woman, The Woman Who Found The World In Her Oyster, The Woman Who Was Pigeonholed, and The Woman Who Ate Photographs. This final one I recommend to any parents watching their kids grow and feeling that tug between holding them tightly and letting them go (welled up just writing that let alone reading the chapter!). The writing and the way significant, current issues are interwoven through the stories, presented from a woman’s perspective, was both emotive and powerful. As with most feminist literature, this isn’t packed full of ways that men are horrid (quite the opposite in many of the stories), it simply presents the reality of situations from alternative perspectives and with wit, satire and intuition.

This is definitely a book both women and men need to read. I truly adored it.

Also, a TV series focusing on the stories within this book is in production so it’s my top tip to be the next “Big Little Lies” particularly as Nicole Kidman is one of the producers.

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for this free ARC to review in my own words.


15 thoughts on “ROAR by Cecelia Ahern – Book Review

  1. Ohhh this sounds right up my street! I love stories with fabulous female leads. The last chapter you talk about made me get a lump in my throat. I am at that very stage of wanting to hold on to my boys forever, but knowing that I cant. Fab review, I will pick this book up for sure. Thanks for sharing

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love the sound of this book, what a brilliant idea for a collection of stories. As you say, whatever stage we are in life, there’s going to be at least one or two that resonate with us. I’m going to check this out later, my TBR pile hasn’t quite reached the ceiling yet so I have an excuse! Fab review, Gem, thank you for sharing xx

    Lisa |

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s so clever, and like I say in the review, a real use of parable-like stories for the many facets of modern life. Ha your TBR pile sounds healthier than mine I have an ebook one and a real life one that’s bursting 😬 really trying to have some self control now for the rest of the year to catch up


    • Thank you, this is definitely a great book but had all that excellent writing and depth that Cecilia’s books have too. And thank you, I didn’t want it to come across too about me but hopefully knowing someone older had and has similar struggles with friendships would because bit of a salve xx


  3. This sounds like my kinda book! I love that there is a story that will resonate with everyone. I imagine it’s a comforting read as we discover chapters which relate to our own life experiences. I’d love to give this a read, every time I visit your blog my reading wish list gets longer he he. Another fantastic review Gem, thanks for sharing! ❤ xx

    Bexa |


  4. Great review. This sounds like a very interesting book! I enjoy books that are full of short stories that are relatable to the reader, I’ll have to check out this one. – my TBR list is getting longer and longer. 😅

    Liked by 1 person

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