"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us." —J. R. R. Tolkien

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

ROOM by Emma Donoghue




A book hasn't touched such an emotional cord with me in years. Ages. Even beyond LIFE OF PI emotions. I'm not sure what pushed me over the edge to read this one. I'm not the kind of reader who likes dark stories or stories that involve any kind of cruelty to children. And just to assuage the mothers out there, this is not a story about cruelty to children. It's really, really not.

But what it is is genius. The choice of using the five-year-old boy Jack as the point-of-view character sets this book apart from other abduction stories out there. It's brilliant, and I won't lie. I was in tears no less than ten times while reading this book.

ROOM by Emma Donoghue (Little, Brown, September 2010)


I had the joy of listening to this on Audible (if you don't do audio books, please start). These days, a normal audio book takes me three or four weeks to get through. ROOM took about three days. I could not stop listening. I listened while grocery shopping. I spent extra time cleaning the kitchen so I could listen. I was motivated to exercise so I could listen.

In short, if I'm not making myself clear, I highly recommend this book. (btw, it's an adult book, not a kid book.)

The book trailer for ROOM:



From Amazon:

To five-year-old Jack, Room is the entire world. It is where he was born and grew up; it's where he lives with his Ma as they learn and read and eat and sleep and play. At night, his Ma shuts him safely in the wardrobe, where he is meant to be asleep when Old Nick visits.

Room is home to Jack, but to Ma, it is the prison where Old Nick has held her captive for seven years. Through determination, ingenuity, and fierce motherly love, Ma has created a life for Jack. But she knows it's not enough...not for her or for him. She devises a bold escape plan, one that relies on her young son's bravery and a lot of luck. What she does not realize is just how unprepared she is for the plan to actually work.

Told entirely in the language of the energetic, pragmatic five-year-old Jack, ROOM is a celebration of resilience and the limitless bond between parent and child, a brilliantly executed novel about what it means to journey from one world to another.

12 comments:

Shari Green said...

I just read this, too. So good! Having Jack as the POV character was pretty much a stroke of genius, I'd say. Very well done.

PJ Hoover said...

Oh, Shari, I've been trying to find someone who's read it also. I so wanted to talk about it. the POV made the story amazing!

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Wow. That is a powerful review, PJ. I'll find this one and read it. I promise. :-)

PJ Hoover said...

A powerful review for a powerful book, Shannon.

KLo said...

Definitely going to read it now :-) I'd heard it was good, but this tipped "Room" making my Barnes and Noble weekly list.

On another note, I have a strange question for you. I have an auditory perception disability (basically "in one ear, out the other", but bad enough that it had a tremendous impact on my schoolwork until I learned some strategies to cope with it), and as a result have never been able to do the audio book thing. I haven't even tried one out for years ... do you have any suggestions?

I am a voracious reader and would love to be able to "read" while driving or whatnot.

PJ Hoover said...

I'm glad the review convinced you, KLo! As for the auditory thing, does the book make a difference. I definitely find myself ignoring audio books at times, especially when they aren't grabbing. Room was like no other. Well, maybe the DaVinci Code compared, but that's about it.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

I don't know if I can go to the Room. Just this little bit is scary. I'll have to be feeling very strong.
But I do so love audio books. I just listened to Suzanne Collins' Gregor the Overlander on audio. Absolutely loved it.

Pam Harris said...

A great review to go with a GREAT book. :)

PJ Hoover said...

Tricia, it really made an impact. Every so often I really love reading books that touch me to emotionally.

Glad we both agree, Pam! It was something, wasn't it. And it ended at just the right spot. So well done.

Tess said...

I want to read this book but it scares me a little, you know? I'm skittish when it comes to children being put in difficult circumstances. maybe it's time to take that leap...

Kelly H-Y said...

Wow, what a review. I still don't know if I could take it ...but I think you've convinced me. I, too, can't read dark stories, or anything involving harm to children. This sounds different though ... you may have sold me!

PJ Hoover said...

Tess, it's really amazing how it handles the whole situation. I'm a mother, and honestly, I was just awed.

It is really different, Kelly. I would totally recommend it.