by Cecelia Ahern

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LoveReading Expert Review of Roar

Meet thirty very different women and ponder over a book to be taken slowly.

Thirty very different pieces about extraordinary women, keenly observed and astute. They cover the spectrum from triumphant to pathetic, sad to humerous, surprising to surreal. There is the woman who unravels, another who grows wings, one who secretly paints her grass green, one talks to ducks, one slips through a timeless crack and another is put on a shelf. Some will irritate, others make you laugh or cry. Do not read too many together else you will lose the flavour. I would believe it to be a good bedside book, read two or three a night and take the next day pondering and digesting them before the next batch. I also believe it would make an excellent Christmas present for any woman any age.

Sarah Broadhurst

Roar Synopsis

`These stories sing and cry and shout and whisper from the page. They're sharp, clever, witty...a joy to read.' Donal Ryan, international bestselling author of The Spinning Heart 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.

About This Edition

ISBN: 9780008283490
Publication date: 1st November 2018
Author: Cecelia Ahern
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
Format: Hardback
Primary Genre Modern and Contemporary Fiction
Other Genres:

What To Read After Roar

Uncommon Type
Here is the Beehive
If I Knew You Were Going to be This Beautiful, I Never Would Have Let You Go
Tiger with a Human Soul

Roar Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title.

One of the best short story books I have read in a long time!!

This is a terrific book by Cecelia Ahern - a book of thirty short stories, all covering different genres and is a must read. This is the sort of book that you can pick up, read a full short story and put it down again til next time.

The stories are all completely different, some humourous, some strange, some horror, some romantic and the list goes on. Cecelia Ahern has written each individual story from the heart and all are written in an easy to read, flowing manner, but it is the variety of the stories that really impressed me. After reading the book I found I had several favourites and am in the process of re-reading them at the moment.

If you see this book for sale somewhere buy it, if you see it in a library, borrow it or if a friend gives/lends it to you take it, you will be glad you did!!

Catherine Bryce

A collection of stories that is both empowering and relatable, speaking to women of all ages.

Empowering and relatable but also somewhat frustrating in places. Cecelia Ahern’s newest work is a powerful collection of 30 short stories. All centre around a different but unknown woman, you are given no name. Here lies the magic in the narrative, these stories are about women in different points and aspects of our lives. Women’s who could be any of us, these stories resonate a truth in us. You understand the frustrations and revelations of the characters because you have lived them or recognise them in others.

The frustration comes from the stories varying lengths. Some of the shorter ones I wanted more of and some of the longer less of. This however is a trivial point compared to the overall enjoyment of the book.

I was very happy to review this book on behalf of love reading and would certainly recommend it when in goes on release. It’s a powerful book that will speak to women of all ages.

Karen Swanscott

A selection of entertaining and witty short stories about women's place in society as seen from a woman's viewpoint.

I am a big fan of Cecelia Ahern but sadly, I didn't like this collection of short stories. I completely understand what the author is trying to do: most women have at some time in their lives been in one or more of the situations described in the stories. I also understand why the main character is not given a name. She represents all women and the stories focus on the situation she is in, not her character. Unfortunately, the effect this had on me was that I could find no empathy with any of the protagonists even though I recognised the situations they were dealing with. I also felt that this anonymity detracted from the issue the author was focussing on. I can't imagine many men read Cecelia Ahern's books but if they read this one, I don't think they will have any empathy either and may well consider that the issues facing these women are exaggerated. Cecelia Ahern is a great writer and I think she could have used any of these vignettes as the basis for one of her novels, giving a character to "the woman" and thereby creating an emotional link with the reader. However, even though I was disappointed with this book, it won't stop me reading future books by Cecelia Ahern.

Pauline Braisher

You will return to this book like a selection box of herbal teas, finding that perfect remedy to soothe any doubt, fear or situation.

Like a selection box of herbal teas, Roar offers a remedy for any situation, mood or ailment. Your heart, head, home, health. Each carefully crafted to speak right to the soul of womanhood at any stage of life; flicking through the pages is like drinking tea with a dearest friend, steam clearing the mind and wrapping its aroma around you.
Some will resonate more than others depending on life experiences, but there’s no doubt that you will find more than one that equips you with the tools and the courage to face every situation head on.
Cleverly, Ahern avoids naming each heroine to avoid comparison or distance. Returning the power to the reader and allowing her own characteristics to come through, means that even those stories that don’t seem quite as relevant still make their place.
The first story, 'The Woman Who Slowly Disappeared', sets off with a narrative at once heartwrenching and uplifting, giving the woman back control and reminding her of her worth. The wonderful 'The Woman Who Was Swallowed Up By the Floor' and 'Who Met Lots Of Other Women Down There Too' makes you laugh and cringe in solidarity. 'The Woman Who Wears Pink' felt powerful, horrific in its extremity, and yet eye-opening, calling to the desperate need for acceptance and balance.
This is a book you will return to. When a doubt lodges itself in your mind, when you have a bad day, you will take it down and turn to the appropriate tonic. A constant reminder that women are strong, resilient, wonderful – hear her roar.

Tiffany Chevis

Collection of nice inspiring short stories to help empower women.

Roar is a collection of short stories with themes around what women  experience everyday. Themes like guilt, feeling left out, lack of confidence are told in the author's strong storytelling which is very engaging. This collection of stories reminds me of the Aesop Fables and Chicken Soup for the Soul approach but focussed solely on women and the issues that we may face.

The book was nice and easy to dip into and would be a nice gift for a teenager/young women or even those who lack confidence and would like some inspiration.

emma lewis

A great, easy read which all women with identify with in some way.

I wasn't sure what to expect with this book, as I don't usually read short stories. I was pleasantly surprised though. This book, whilst easy to read, was thought-provoking and empowering. I enjoyed all the stories in different ways. Every (woman) will identify with one or more of the feelings and emotions in these tales as they relate directly to many life experiences and feelings that we all come across. It was interesting the way that none of the main women in each story were named, they were referred to as 'the woman'. This obviously meant that any of these characters could be any of us in ordinary, everyday situations. They could apply to many, many people.

I have read other books by Cecilia Ahern in the past (not short stories), but even though this was different, it was great. It was both absorbing and powerful. It was funny and relatable in a lot of instances.

I was really pleased to be asked to review this for LoveReading and would recommend it to women from all backgrounds and circumstances.

Sally Doel

A unique reflection upon an eclectic wealth of situations that we as women experience but sometimes fail to share, often imagining that we are the only ones to feel the way that we do. A brave and imaginative collection of highly readable short stories.

Cecelia Ahern has gathered together a range of experiences that women may find themselves in but perhaps rarely talk about with others. From these, she has created a large collection of short stories illustrating the ways in which these situations may manifest themselves, particularly focusing upon the feelings and issues that can evolve. Some of her stories are quite quirky, some are amusing, some are bizarre but all are incredibly imaginative and extremely reflective. They vary in length, are easy to read but I found myself pausing after each one to digest and contemplate the 'soul' behind each one.
I particularly liked the way in which Ahern has chosen the titles of her stories; each one begins with the words: "The Woman Who..." and I enjoyed trying to guess what the issue might be before my reading and returning to it when I had finished.
The cover design is striking and the wording matches very well with the content.
My only criticism is that I felt that the book was too long and that its impact might have been even greater if some of the stories had been left out.
However, Roar is a book that will appeal to women of all ages and I congratulate Ahern on being brave enough to write it.

Val Rowe

A book of short stories that are bound to shock, amuse and surprise. All are fresh and original with plenty of ideas to make the reader think outside the box.

I must admit that I am not a fan of short stories, I prefer a full length novel to get my teeth into, something that I can't wait to read the next part. I found that, with this book, each short story I read, I wanted to digest and consider for a while before moving on. The stories are thought provoking, and like something I have never read before. For this reason, I haven't yet finished the book but decided I needed to review it anyway.

Each story takes an everyday saying / feeling / situation and presents it in a very unusual and clever way. Some stories I didn't like, some are very amusing, some are brilliant. We've all been through some of these situations and I found myself saying "Yes, that's exactly how it is!" I especially empathised with "The Woman Who Was Swallowed Up By The Floor..." Each story is told about a woman who finds herself in a situation that is harmful or detrimental, and tells how she rebels or extricates herself from it.

I can understand why it took so long to write this book. Each story is fresh and imaginative. Some stories are sad, some ridiculous, but all are clever, witty and unusual. I can see this becoming a favourite with reading groups, instigating lots of discussion on how life is for many women.

christine woolfenden

An exciting collection of fictional narratives. Cecelia Ahern showcases her graceful flair in writing stories which candidly capture the women we see everyday, from all walks of life.

Roar is an exciting collection of fictional narratives. Cecelia Ahern showcases her graceful flair in writing short stories, and her quick ability to immerse you into different lives in an instant. Stories which candidly capture the women we see everyday, from all walks of life.

Ahern embraces these semi-ordinary, female, characters as they find their place in the world. As they begin to understand themselves and see each other. This collection is definitely a creative masterpiece: entertaining but thoughtful too. Women live these stories, we live inside them. There were so many which reminded me of my female friends, my sisters as well. I've made a note to tell them which to read first which I'm excited to do.

I felt inspired while reading these stories- imagining their frustrations and, recalling my own. It felt like meeting a sisterhood. This collection only asks that you listen, and yet you can't help but engage. You will want more stories, meet more people. We all have a story, and this is something Cecelia Ahern always reminds us of, in her books: our shared humanity. We just need to learn to own the stories we live. Ahern tackles human vulnerability straight-on, and it never catches you off-guard. It's always natural.

Her fans, and those new to her books, will not be disappointed!

When this book releases in November 2018 be sure to buy yourself a copy. (And, some for those special friends in your life!) A timely and perfect gift for any ocassion.

Saarah N

It is such a lovely, positive and uplifting book. I strongly recommend reading it, especially if you are a woman who… well, if you are a woman.

Roar by Cecilia Ahern is a book of 30 short stories about modern day life as a woman.

I have to admit I’ve never read any books by Cecilia Ahern before so wasn’t sure what to expect. It’s also been a while since I’ve read short stories, having had a long phase of just novel reading lately so this was a real change of pace for me.

I expected it to take me some time to get into the book, to find short stories unfulfilling. I assumed that with the stories being short I wouldn’t be able to connect to the characters and so wouldn’t care about them. I was completely wrong. As soon as I started reading I was enraptured. The stories, no matter how long or short were completely engaging and I wanted to keep reading and find out the outcome of each story, and the next story, and the next.

I found this book to be incredible. Each story had its own metaphor and there was a moral or lesson at the end of each chapter. I found it so easy to read, quite often picking it up to read just one story and finding myself reading three or four. I found every single story relatable, even the ones that on the face of it I would expect to have nothing in that was relevant to me. Some obviously touched home more than others, but each left me feeling more empowered and self-aware in their own way.

Rebecca Kirkby

I really wanted to love it.

Cecelia Ahern takes sayings or themes and writes allegorical stories about them, all based on women's empowerment. Whilst initially I enjoyed each short piece I soon found them to be a little irritating, and of a similar nature, as if the story had been shoehorned to fit the saying. I felt sad that none of the women were given a name, just called 'woman' which I felt took any identity away. However, this is a book that can easily be dipped into and out of, and one that can hang around the bedside for a quick read or for when you might want to a bit of a lift. I think many will love the book, and Cecilia writes very well. I have enjoyed her other novels, and I will continue to read her books but this wasn't a great read for me.


Excitement quickly turned to sadness

As someone who has absolutely loved all of Cecelia Ahern's previous books I was thrilled to get my hands on Roar ahead of the publication date. However, I am so disappointed to report that I did not like this at all. I like the concept of a collection of short stories and being able to dip in for a quick read but although I am far from being an anti-feminist all the women in the stories just annoyed me and I felt no empathy with them at all. I was particularly irritated that none if them were identified by name, simply 'the woman'. I feel sure that if anyone else had written this book it would not have been published. Luckily it has not put me off Cecelia and I look forward to her next novel. Feel guilty giving this review but very very disappointed.

Julie Mann

The perfect book for Cecilia Ahern fans to read on holiday - surreal, funny, thought-provoking, confusing....I could go on!

The perfect book for Cecilia Ahern fans to read on holiday and as an introduction to her work, this would be a great place to start. Each story is very different - surreal, funny, thought-provoking, confusing...I could go on!

Needless to say, I loved it for the most part. There were a couple of the tales I didn't get but that is part and parcel of Cecilia's charm and the first one had me hooked, giggling and gasping in turn as I made my way through the womens' stories.

Gill Burn

A promising idea for a collection but more of a whimper than a roar.

I was interested in reading ROAR because I enjoy reading short stories and, never having read any of her previous books, I thought this collection would be a good introduction to Cecelia Ahern’s writing.

ROAR’s dedication is ‘For all the women who...’ and each of its 30 stories takes a saying or life situation and uses that as its inspiration. To underline its universal appeal, the central woman in each story remains unnamed and every story title begins with ‘The Woman Who...’

Most women will find something to identify with here. I found the early stories Slowly Disappeared, Grew Wings, Thought Her Mirror Was Broken, Ate Photographs and Forgot Her Name all interesting takes on common problems or situations. But after that, I didn’t find much to interest me besides the two stories mentioned below.

Although I appreciate why it was done and despite limiting myself to one story a day, I found the title format and the fact that the woman goes unnamed began to irritate me, especially where these were stories about women being neglected or undervalued in some way.

I enjoyed both Unravelled and Cherry-Picked but Roared was a weak finish. Unfortunately, where the title story should finish strongly and be empowering, it hammers its message home so hard that the effect is dulled as a result.

Kathryn Eastman

An interesting way of showing women that their feelings are normal.

Easy reading with some interesting ways of turning abstract emotions into concrete situations. Each story revolves around a totally recognisable feeling and I think most women are going to identify with several of the characters in these short stories. I'm sure many people will feel uplifted by the fact that these have been written and must, therefore, be very common feelings so they are not alone. The fact that they are short stories means that you can easily fit them into a busy lifestyle without the worry of not finding time to finish a story that you've started.

Cate Greenan

I was not disappointed. At first I read the first few stories and then have to admit after putting it down did not pick it up again for a couple of weeks. However, that is the beauty of this book. Often you have to re-read parts to pick up a book left aside for awhile, yet this can be picked and read if you have 5, 10, 15 mins spare or devoured if you have longer!

The book is a collection of short stories. not normally the sort of book I would choose as I like a longer read, however as it was by Cecelia Ahern I wanted to try it out.

I was not disappointed. At first, I read the first few stories and then have to admit after putting it down did not pick it up again for a couple of weeks. However, that is the beauty of this book. Often you have to re-read parts to pick up a book left aside for awhile, yet this can be picked and read if you have 5, 10, 15 mins spare or devoured if you have longer!

The stories are funny, relatable and yet sad in parts. I must say that for some I really wanted to find out more and was desperate to read more. However, this book is almost fly on the wall. Just a snippet of the characters lives. They are stories with a moral, written often in clever metaphors.

In addition, I found the stories to be extremely relevant to the current climate of emphasis on mental health, self-care, and self-worth. These stories lift, help inspire and empower.

I have not yet read all of the stories but intend to read, re-read and share this book over and over. A very highly recommended book.

Sam Lewis

A tame rather than fierce new release from Cecilia Ahern.

I loved the theory behind Cecelia's new release, thirty stories of women which the reader can dip in and out of at their leisure.

Sadly the concept didnt materialise for me in the printed version. I found it rather contradictory in that each story had its own message and lead female character but 'the woman' was always nameless. This is perhaps an intentional action by the author but for me detracted from the importance and credibility of the character. Not to be dissuaded I continued through Roar hoping the next short story would be the one to draw me in.

Some of the short stories were so bizarre I wondered what criteria Cecilia had used to compile Roar. It felt as though she had been asked to produce a piece of work quickly and simply gathered up whatever drafts and rough notes happened to be on her her desk and sent this off.

I leave a negative review with regret but this book left me cold and confused rather than the promised inspirational and fierce. I appreciate other readers may have the opposite opinion though. Thank you for the opportunity to review it.

Caroline Highy

An exploration of the cliches of older womanhood, this mixture of short stories will have something that sings out for everyone.

As with the vast majority of short stories, this is a mixed bag, not all of which will appeal to every reader. Each uses the device of a nameless woman as the central character playing out her life against the cliches of older womanhood - feelings of invisibility, mother guilt, being pigeon-holed, stereotyped and passed over. Some are highly imaginative, some will prick your feelings or make your heart turn over. I found the The Woman Who Forgot Her Name particularly insightful in the final resolution, for example. Others left me cold. I can't quite see why Ahern spends so much time unpicking and dissecting what it is to be a woman throughout the book, only to reduce it all to heels and pink dresses in a story about a man becoming a woman without also exploring the position of his ex-wife (unless this is an acute observation of current trends; if so I think it will not be clear enough).

In most of these stories the position is reductio ad absurdum - to reduce a cliche or stereotype to its logical endpoint to show how ridiculous it is. The Woman Who Guarded Gonads is the clearest example of flipping the bodily autonomy argument head over heels. All in all, I don't think there's much here to challenge women who have thought critically about living in a patriarchal, stereotyped world; as a collection of fables for people exploring these ideas it may well be both entertaining and enlightening. Perhaps not so much a Roar as a Call.

Caroline Wood

Cecelia Ahern Press Reviews

`These provocative and witty stories prove it's time to recognise Cecelia Ahern as one of our finest writers' John Boyne

`These stories sing from the page ... sharp, clever, witty: a joy to read' Donal Ryan, author of The Spinning Heart

Acclaim for Cecelia Ahern:

`Cleverly constructed, full of flavour and moving' Daily Mail

`An illuminating and touching father/daughter story about memory, childhood and secrets' Woman & Home

`Beautiful and unexpected ... both thought-provoking and life-affirming' Sunday Express

`Intricate and emotional ... really completely lovely' Grazia

`Both moving and thought-provoking' Irish Independent

Other editions of this book

ISBN: 9780008540838
Publication date: 14/04/2022
Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9780008283544
Publication date: 02/05/2019
Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9780008283537
Publication date: 02/05/2019
Format: Paperback

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About Cecelia Ahern

Cecelia Ahern was our Guest Editor in October 2014 - click here - to see the books that inspired her writing. Cecelia Ahern was born and grew up in Dublin. Before embarking on her writing career, Cecelia Ahern completed a degree in journalism and media studies. PS, I Love You was one of the biggest-selling debuts of recent years and a number 1 bestseller. Her other bestselling novels are Where Rainbows End, If You Could See Me Now, A Place Called Here, Thanks for the Memories, The Gift, The Book of Tomorrow and The Time of My Life. PS, I Love You ...

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