Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Room by Emma Donoghue - Book Club

Room by Emma Donoghue will be reviewed next week by a Book Club that has been mad enough to allow 120 Socks to be a member.

The book is well worth a read, and I look forward to posting feedback from our Book Club when we get together.  But in the interim, here is one of the reams of articles written about this book, which was incidentally short-listed this year for the Booker Prize. Also of note is that Emma Donoghue is Irish, so all in all it is well worth supporting.!

'The universe of Donoghue's docu-novel is a garden shed that is home to five-year-old Jack, the storyteller, and his devoted Ma, abducted at 18, and who is now fading in and out of black depression. There's a tyrannical occasional visitor, Old Nick, on whom the pair depend for food, light and heat -- for life itself. He calls usually when Jack is tucked into his bed in the wardrobe.  In no time, this room becomes a hellish world for the reader, as well as for Jack and Ma. Life revolves around finding ways of making the days pass. You play games; word games, mostly. You exercise. Today. Again tomorrow. And tomorrow, like yesterday.
Like John Boyne's Bruno in The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, he knows more than he understands. Jack does not fit into the accepted moulds of boyhood. Since he does not share the assumptions that help make sense of the world, a chasm yawns between him and 'Outside'.
The novel is as much about empathising with suffering at the extreme of the spectrum as about our society's expectations.  Donoghue's great strength - apart from her storytelling gift - is her emotional intelligence.  We get enough information to feel uncomfortable - and therefore to question our assumptions about how family life ought to be; and to know that life will always be an unequal struggle.'


  1. also like john boyne's book it has a light blue cover... Coincidence? This and other mysteries to be unravelled soon


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