Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Room by Emma Donoghue
Room was a very buzzed-about book in the fall of 2010. It is the story of a young boy born in captivity and his unique view of the world. His mother was kidnapped at the age of nineteen and has been repeatedly raped by her captor, resulting in the birth of Jack. The room her captor has fashioned for her is the only place Jack has ever known, and to make things easier his mother has told him that Room is the real world and everything they see on TV is Outer Space, not real.
I have read a few books written from the point of view of a child, and it takes extraordinary talent to do it well. Donogue manages to not only write convincingly as Jack, but to do it at a fast pace and in present tense. That's like a writing hat trick! If I had been able to slow down long enough to formulate thoughts beyond "Wow, this is good, what happens next?!" then I would have been envious. (I have had plenty of time to be envious since then, and believe me, I am.) I started this book on my commute into work one morning, and finished it before going to bed that night. It is heart-wrenching, dark and uplifting at the same time. Should you read it? Absolutely.
[This book is part of the Bestsellers 2000-2010 category of book club.]