Monday, September 13, 2010
Room by Emma Donoghue
I had the pleasure of reading an advance copy of Emma Donoghue's "Room," released today from Little Brown. While I thought the book was on fast forward at some points, I never tired of the genuine voice of little 5-year-old Jack, the book's narrator and main character. We hear Jack's thoughts as he discovers the truth about his first five years of life, which have been spent locked in a room with his mother. Room and the things in it are all he has ever known.
I'd love to go on about all of the amazing details of this book, but I fear that I will give away too much if I go into the plot of the book. For me part of the joy of reading this novel was that I had no idea what it was about when I received it as my first installment from The Nervous Breakdown's book club (sign up here). Partway through the book I started to read one of the descriptions of the book online and had to stop before finishing the first sentence because it gave away one of the things that had kept me curious through the first chapter (how and when his mother got put in Room), so I want to be careful about what I say here.
All I can say is that this was one of the best books I've read in a very, very long time. The author has perfectly pictured the innocence of youth and how the world of a toddler can be shattered by the realities of the outside world. Jack's voice comes across as genuine and I was fascinated throughout by his interpretations of the world, given that I had the knowledge that the games he and his mother were playing (games like Scream and Keypad) were more than just games. I highly recommend reading this one.