Saturday, January 8, 2011

Book 4 (2011): Room

Emma Donoghue's novel Room is everything the critics say it is: "powerful, moving, haunting, must read in one sitting." It is all those things as well as being dark, sad, and tragic.

Room is the story of 5 year-old Jack and his Ma. They live in Room, and 11x11 foot space. The share Bed, Food, Toilet, and everything else. They have a routine. Jack sees tv and thinks everything he sees on there is pretend, a fantasy, because all he knows is room. He's never touched grass, breathed outside air, been to a mall or playground, never talked to another living soul except for Ma because all he knows is Room. The only bad thing he knows about is Old Nick and Ma hides Jack in Wardrobe at night so the two never meet in case Old Nick arrives.

Until one night when Ma convinces Jack to be brave and save them. Then he lives life outside of Room and most of the time he wants to go back, not understanding that to Ma it was a prison but to him it was his safe world.

Following the advice of one critic, I did read this entire book in 1 four hour sitting. I just couldn't put it down, even if I wanted. The first person narrator of Jack's little voice is spell binding. as a reader I just ached for Ma and as the story came out of how Jack and Ma came to be in Room, it was an even more tragic story. Something else I appreciate about this book is the twist of the story, the cleverness of such a tale. (321 pgs)

B+

4 Comments:

food for thought said...

i am scrared to read this, i don't think i could handle the nightmares...

Maggie said...

Food FT: Now I obviously don't know what gives you nightmares or not, but I checked this out from the library and returned it so many times because I wasn't sure I could handle it. Finally a friend of mine said she read it and there's "redemption." that's the word she used. So i took the plunge and I'm glad I did.

I don't want to give too much away but I want to say that the "horrific" stuff isn't blunt. Donoghue doesn't hit the reader over the head with bad stuff. Most of the time it's implied because it's told through the eyes of 5 year old Jack. And when Ma speaks, she is strong, a survivor.

I won't say it's going to be one of the best books I read this year, but it was good, very good. And it left me... satisfied with the ending.

food for thought said...

still scares me, its too much like that real life news story...

Maggie said...

FoodFT- I understand completely. IT was news like. :(