Friday, September 30, 2011


Book Review

Room by Emma Donoghue.

A friend told me about Room. I hadn't heard of it. An extremely brief synopsis indicated that this would be a depressing book.

It is.

It is also an astonishing book. It got under my skin.

I wanted to keep reading, but I didn't want to read it when my kids were milling about. It is too depressing to read and look up and see and think about my own kids.

So I read when they weren't in the vicinity. But I kept reading. I didn't want to stop.


Wow. What a book. Depressing. Enlightening. Oppressive. Encouraging. Discouraging. Hopeful. Sad. Enduring.

This is a book written from a five-year-old boy's perspective and vernacular. It was a bit of adjustment at first. It starts and stops and the sentences run on. Ideas are jumbled together. Thoughts pop up out of nowhere in the middle of something else. The diction is incomplete, just as you would expect for a five year old. All of it fits. All of it adds to the atmosphere and perspective of our narrator.

Although written from the viewpoint of a child, this is no children's book. This is the story of two victims of violence, one of which doesn't know he's a victim. The other knows it all too well. The horrific nature of the events alluded to are very disturbing, but thankfully the author does not detail them. But it is plain enough anyways. Of course, you wouldn't expect to get such details from a five year old anyways.

The pace of the book kept me on the edge of my seat at times, almost to the point of me feeling like I couldn't take a breath. This didn't last too long, but long enough for me to be hoping that the tension would ease soon. It did.

I read Room in its entirety in about three sittings. I could have been one, if I hadn't had children about me. It moved along and begged to be finished. I liked that, but at times I also felt like it could pause and linger a bit more.

All in all, I really liked and disliked this book. It was disturbing, but it was well done. The subject matter is far from my favorite topic, but the story was thought provoking. I liked that about it. It kept me thinking about it long after I put it down.

And I thought a lot about my kids.

I recommend reading this, if you can handle the disturbing nature of it. It is definitely intriguing.

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