For our book-club this month we all read Roar by Cecilia Ahern, and what a wonderful read it turned out to be. Our discussion went well over the usually stipulated one hour, with everyone having a lot to share and talk about.
This is a book of 30 short stories all centred around women. And these are no ordinary stories. They have been written in an unusual way, and it takes a little time to get used to the style of writing. And once you do, you find stories which will definitely strike a chord somewhere. Maybe not all stories, but some will surely resonate with you.
The stories revolve around women in different situations in life. A trophy wife who decides to step down from her pedestal and smashes it. A woman who forgets her name, for she is a mummy, a ‘dear’, and many other such sobriquets. A lady who disappears – which the entire group had a lot to talk about. A woman who is swallowed up by the floor, because she lands in an embarrassing situation and meets more like her, and they slowly emerge out of the hole once they have made peace with it and decided to get past it. A favourite was the pigeonhole story which cleverly spoke about how we sometimes ourselves and sometimes by society let ourselves be stereotyped into these labelled boxes like bossy, second wife, husband stealer, victim, mother, wife, feminist man-hater and what not.
Truth is often it is women who label other women, women who pull each other down, and it is women who can help each other rise too. Women need to see women too, the author says in the first book. And women need to see themselves, recognize themselves, their value, their power, their strength. Only then can the world see them as the women they are and not as labels.
And to break out of shackles self-made or otherwise, it is imperative to ROAR. Don’t whisper – Roar. Talk to a friend, make art, talk to your self, vent, speak-up, get it all out. Make space to grow. And listen. To those who may be trying to get heard, trying to share.
We unanimously loved the book. It need not be read as a whole. It can be read in parts. If you are feeling down, pick up the book, flip to any story and it is sure to lift you up. Keep it around, to read whenever you feel like and share it forward.
While each reader will take away an experience completely unique to the reader, I want to share one story which I LOVED. The Woman Who Ordered The Seabass Special. I did really enjoy The Woman Who Guarded Gonads, but the Seabass Special is so simple and so powerful. A woman helping another overcome years of inferiority-complex through a small yet significant step.
Anyway, so here is a picture of me with my favourite story. If the book moved you, if you feel like sharing a “Roar” please go ahead and share a pic with your favourite story!!