From the bestselling author of P.S., I Love You, a fiercely feminist story collection that illuminates, sometimes in fantastical ways, how women of all kinds navigate the world today—now an Apple TV+ series from the creators of GLOW starring Nicole Kidman, Cynthia Erivo, Merritt Wever, and Alison Brie!
In this singular and imaginative story collection, Cecelia Ahern explores the endless ways in which women blaze through adversity with wit, resourcefulness, and compassion. Ahern takes the familiar aspects of women's lives—the routines, the embarrassments, the desires—and elevates these moments to the outlandish and hilarious with her astute blend of magical realism and social insight.
One woman is tortured by sinister bite marks that appear on her skin; another is swallowed up by the floor during a mortifying presentation; yet another resolves to return and exchange her boring husband at the store where she originally acquired him. The women at the center of this curious universe learn that their reality is shaped not only by how others perceive them, but also how they perceive the power within themselves.
By turns sly, whimsical, and affecting, these thirty short stories are a dynamic examination of what it means to be a woman in this very moment. Like women themselves, each story can stand alone; yet together, they have a combined power to shift consciousness, inspire others, and create a multi-voiced Roar that will not be ignored.
Includes a Reading Group Guide.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Cecelia Ahern’s short-story collection—which has been adapted into an Apple Original series—is a passionate feminist treatise in the form of modern fairy tales. From the book’s first vignette, about a woman who begins to literally disappear in middle age, to later parables about the traps women confront as they navigate stages of life—crushing guilt, lack of self, social demands to look and behave a certain way—Roar delivers a scathing and sometimes hilarious indictment of a cultural misogyny that’s so ingrained, it’s almost invisible. If you’ve ever felt trapped by what the world requires of women or pondered the joy and grief of aging, parenthood, speaking out, and standing up, you will recognize yourself in these stories.
Ahern's fantastic collection features stories of unnamed women facing modern life and its attendant difficulties, each told with fablesque twists. In "The Woman Who Returned and Exchanged Her Husband," men are literally on the market, able to be bought, returned, and exchanged. In "The Woman Who Was Kept on the Shelf," a woman spends half her life sitting on a shelf her beloved husband builds for her next to his other trophies. And in "The Woman Who Was Swallowed Up by the Floor and Who Met Lots of Other Women Down There Too," a woman mortified while giving a presentation is literally swallowed up by the floor, falling into a black hole where other embarrassed women are working up the courage to climb back. Ahern's women are by turns insecure and ambitious, quiet and challenging, as they struggle with careers, marriages, parenting, and social structures beyond their control. Ahern (P.S., I Love You) blends magical realism with keen observations about contemporary gender dynamics, offering readers a sharp selection of nuanced parables encouraging bravery, compassion, and self-reliance.