Room by Emma Donoghue

First of all, Happy New Year!  Second, wow, did I read a bunch of great books over the holidays.  Now I just need to remember all of them so I can tell you about them!  I don’t really know where to start but I’ll pick one that I think you guys will really like…

Room” is told in the first person perspective of Jack, a 5-year old boy.  Jack lives in a room with his mother, Ma.  Room (as Jack calls it) includes Bed, Wardrobe, Table, Rug, and all of their other belongings in life.  Jack was born in Room and he knows nothing of the outside world – Room is the only world he knows.  When he watches TV, he thinks that all of the people and things on TV are pretend.  Ma does her best to teach Jack things and get him exercise every day in Room so he can act like a normal kid (as much as possible).  Jack is happy and content in Room because he knows nothing else.  The only thing that scares Jack is Old Nick, the man who visits Ma each night while Jack hides/sleeps in Wardrobe.  Ma, on the other hand, is trying to plot an escape.

Eventually, Jack and Ma break free of the confines of Room.  Ma is ecstatic to be in the real world again and to see her family, whom she hasn’t seen since she was a teenager.  Jack, on the other hand, doesn’t understand the world outside of Room and actually wishes to go back.  Jack and Ma spend some time in a facility to have therapy and slowly adjust to a completely different life.  Jack struggles to understand simple things in life that we take for granted and don’t have a second thought about… he is literally seeing and experiencing the world for the very first time.

Room” is based on a true story, and no, not the Jaycee Dugard case, although that’s what it reminded me of.  Remember back in 2008 when a woman, Elisabeth Fritzl, and her seven children were found hidden in her father’s house in Austria?  That is the story that inspired Emma Donoghue to write this story.  I don’t think my description above really did the book justice, but it’s really something you need to read for yourself.  I honestly didn’t want to put my Kindle down while I was reading this book.  I was enthralled.  This was truly one of the best books I’ve read in a really long time.

The story was told in Jack’s words, so as you may have noticed above, he tended to turn regular words of items into proper nouns.  It wasn’t as confusing as I thought it would be although he sometimes has a hard time explaining things and finding the right words.  I think I most identified with Ma – she was roughly my age in the story – and it was so scary (and sad) to think of that situation really happening to someone.  Obviously, it HAS happened to who knows how many women… maybe there are others who haven’t escaped or been found.  Craziness.

“Room” has shown up on some Amazon lists for Top 100 Books of 2010 (#35 on editors’ picks list, #90 on customer favorites list, and it’s been a Kindle bestseller for awhile) and I wouldn’t be surprised if you heard more about it in 2011.  I also wouldn’t be surprised if this was turned into a movie someday.  Emma Donoghue has authored a number of other books that have some interesting subjects and storylines.  I’ll be putting her on my “must read authors” list!

2012 Reading Challenge

2012 Reading Challenge
Jaci has read 1 book toward her goal of 35 books.
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