Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Review: Room by Emma Donoghue
Room by Emma Donoghue
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I was really concerned that this book wouldn't live up to the hype that I kept hearing about it. The premise sounded amazing, the reviews were fantastic! I shouldn't have worried ... this one was fantastic! I wavered between 4 and 5 stars, ultimately settling on 5 because of the emotional impact this book had on me! It's a really strong book - one of my favorites this year!
The point of view in this book is AMAZING! Having a 5 year old narrator is the very thing that gives the book its impact and it could have gone very, very wrong! Fortunately for the reader, the execution of this book is FANTASTIC!
I've said it before but I rarely 'feel' a book. I rarely find myself emotionally involved to the point that a book brings me to tears, for example. But, this book did. There were moments when I just put the book down and sobbed, sad for this little boy and this woman who are having to deal with the effects of living in the Room. I think part of it was being the mother of two five year olds so they voice of the narrator was extremely impactful to me. I kept imagining my own children and how they'd react to the situation that Jack found himself in.
In the end, it was a good story that ultimately left me hopeful. It wasn't harrowing or frightening, despite the material/subject matter. It was fantastic. An excellent character study and a fantastic example of the use of voice in a story. WOW.
I will say that it took me some time to get into the book which surprised me but once I found a rhythm with the book, I began to fall in love with Jack and his view of the world. It did take me a bit to get there but I think the later impact of the book made the initial slowness of connection irrelevant for me personally. I don't think this is a perfect book but I do think it is an excellent book. Well worth the read!
I can't recommend this one enough. VERY good book, very good writing. Really impactful. Very timely, particularly since there have been several cases lately of this sort of thing around the world. It's left a mark on me and I suspect I'll carry this story and this narrator around with me for some time!