The Room on the Roof – Book Review


Author : Ruskin Bond

Genre : Fiction

Page Count : 224

Publishing House : Coward-McCann (original) Penguin Books (current)

Date of Publication : 1956

‘The Room on the Roof’; a semi-autobiography, was the first publication of Ruskin Bond. For this book, he won the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize. Bond is a phenomenal writer and the way he describes the emotions in his books is what sets him apart from other writers.

The novel revolves around Rusty, a sixteen-year-old orphaned Anglo-Indian boy living in Derha with his guardian. Due to his guardian’s strict and racist behavior, he ran away from his home and decided to live with his Indian friends. The story then moves forward and revolves around loneliness, identity crisis, love, hope, freedom, happiness, friendship, grief, individualism, teenage rebellion, and loss all together.

I like this book because it was written by a teenager (Bond wrote this novel when he was seventeen years old) and has a teenager’s perspective. I do regret reading it too late. The narrator is smart yet simple and innocent which won my heart. Bond’s vivid description of Indian Bazar and Holi, the festival of colors is mesmerizing in every possible way. Bond has mastered the art of triggering every single emotion of his readers and this book is the perfect example of that. Each word is capable enough to bring back thousands of memories and an unmatchable emotional rush to the heart of the readers. But apart from all these things, the show-stealer for me was the funny descriptions of the bike ride, Holi scenes, and picnic scenes. Bond has used interesting language and really funny phrases to describe the characters and the scenes.

The undying love, the unbreakable friendship, the mutual trust and respect that the boys had for each other made me way too emotional.

Their bond has been beautifully described by the author. It strengthened my faith in the word friendship and made me believe that it is indeed one of the purest bonds on Earth. They were each other’s strength and were there in their thick and thin. A bond to cherish!

Though this book ended abruptly, and the future of Rusty and Kishenwas left to be decided by the readers; this book taught me that life is a complete circle. If you lose someone, either you will find someone elseor you will find yourself. When Rusty ran away from his guardians due to their irrational and strict behaviors, he found Somi, Suri, Ranbir, and Kishen. When Rusty lost Meena, his love, in the car accident he found himself, his passion, and was determined to become a writer.

A book I highly recommend because it has the power to make us aware of the adversities of life. Rusty taught me a million lessons but the most important one is, ‘It’s okay to fall, but it is certainly not okay to stay there and wait for someone to help you out. You are the creator of your own life. Live life on your own terms and be ready to pay whatever it takes to do that.’

A great and smooth read. With a very practical plot, the author keeps you hooked in the book till the end. You shouldn’t skip this one.



Trisha Verma

Trisha Verma

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