Monday, January 3, 2011

Me Like To Read - First Review: Room by Emma Donaghue

So, let me just say that taking this challenge is probably the best decision I made in 2010.

I've already read 3 whole books, am in the middle of this one and put it aside for this one.

The deal is that I have to write a review of each book read and link that post to the challenge blog.

If you've read this blog for any length of time, you know that this is unlikely to last. I will do my best to tell you about each book but with my Nook, I'm now collecting and blazing through them so fast it's unreal.

I promise to give this whole review thing my best shot. And with that, I present to you the review for the first book I completed for the challenge: Room by Emma Donaghue.

Ed note: Click the link for the title, read Audrey Niffenegger's assessment and embrace it. Right now, you're questioning how she could come to that conclusion; I know that I did. But once I finished Room I understood.

Room is told completely through Jack, the five-year-old son of a woman who was kidnapped and imprisoned by a sexual predator. His mother, Ma, lives everyday in angst hoping and wishing for freedom while Jack spends everyday waiting for his friends to show up on t.v. He doesn't understand why Ma is sometimes "gone", he just knows that those days are the days he has to fend for himself and make his own meals and keep to his rigid schedule.

He knows that Old Nick is bad because that's what Ma told him but he doesn't know why. Jack understands that he is supposed to be asleep in the wardrobe when Old Nick comes around but sometimes he's awake and counts the creaks. One time he participates in some mischief that ends up causing his mother pain. He tells her that he's sorry and she says that she knows, but even at five Jack knows that its not the same as it being OK or being forgiven.

When Old Nick gives Ma some terrifying news, she panics and forgets her role as hostage. It's only after they find themselves at the mercy of Old Nick's whims that she puts together a plan for escape. Only it relies entirely on Jack who has never spoken to anyone expect for Ma and thinks it would be much better to try when he's six.

This is a story that goes inside the life of a captee and their child. It's an angle that's never been covered by any media outlet. Reading Room took me outside of my realm of comfort where I safely shake my head and freely voice my disdain for the people in this world who cause suffering to others. It took me to a place of deeper understanding for the victims - especially the ones that don't know they are.

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