04 January 2011
Book Review: Room
Author: Emma Donoghue
Publisher/Year: Little Brown / Sept. 2010
Date Finished: 19 December 2010
Buy | Borrow | Accept | Avoid
Challenges: 100+ Reading, Hogwarts Reading Challenge, Reading Resolutions,
The Short and Sweet of It
Room is narrated by Jack, a five-year-old boy who has never been outside the room where he lives with his mother. Reading a book like this is painful, but the art employed by Donoghue in telling this story outweighs any trepidation over the content.
A Bit of a Ramble
Really the only thing I want to talk about with this book in the narration. Donoghue never wavers, never puts a toe outside the boundaries of the point of view she has chosen. And what a difficult point of view! Writing from the perspective of a five-year-old is complicated enough. Throw in the unique situation Jack was born in to, and the possibilities for kitsch or cliche or just plain old Epic Fail are tremendous. But I was impressed throughout the book by the believability and sincerity I felt from the narration.
The narration was not only remarkable because of the talent required, it also completely changed the tone of the novel and seriously elevated the creepiness. While Jack recounts certain events in his precocious but still childish way, readers are able to easily infer the real horror of the situation, and this juxtaposition of innocence and evil is highly disturbing.
A Bookish Connection: I can't help but be reminded of Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott, in which a young girl is kidnapped and held for five years as a daughter/wife to her captor. Living Dead Girl is a first person account from the perspective of the fifteen-year-old girl, and much like with Room, this elevated the emotional attachment I had to the story.
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