Saturday, August 13, 2011


I've been an emotional basket case today - crying at the drop of a hat, getting miffed at the smallest things, seeking the solace of "me" time. I'm not PMSing.

It's because of Room.

Not my room, but the room in the world created by Emma Donoghue.

Room is the story of five-year-old, Jack, who lives in a single room with his Ma and has never been outside. For Ma, Room is the prison where she's been held captive for seven years, since the age of 19.

I must have picked this book up a hundred times, questioning how an author could create a 324-page story within one room. Surely it would take a certain amount of cleverness and a tremendous amount of talent.

Donoghue has both.

I read this book in two days, sucked into Jack's room, my heart aching for all of the childish things he has never known, and loving Ma for loving her son so much. The story is told through Jack's sweet voice, and while I thought that might grow old at some point, it didn't. I actually believed I was hearing the story through a five-year-old - his questions, his reactions, his all felt so real.

Which is likely why I had a hard time snapping "out" of his world - and why I spent much of the last couple of days moping around the house and yard. I laid on a lounge chair in the pool reading, wondering how Jack would feel about the dragon fly that almost landed on my leg. I imagined the joy he would feel at three dogs licking his feet or playing in the tall grass - a dog not on "TV" but in the real world, a world outside Room. I questioned whether Jack would put ketchup on a barbecued burger, or whether ice cream would hurt teeth that have never seen a dentist. I wanted to walk him over to the park, and push him on the swings, or take him to McDonalds for his first McNugget.

But of course, I can never introduce those things to Jack because he isn't real - despite feeling like a child I have known and loved all of my life.

Room is an affecting story, a compelling, emotional read. And even though I've finished the book, I suspect I'll be seeing things through Jack' eyes for quite some time.

- Dawn

The Book In My Bag Today: The Hypnotist, Lars Kepler


  1. SUCH a hard novel to shake! While I didn't get wrapped into it as much as most people, it has absolutely affected the way I approach my little bugz! I realize now more than ever that they are experiencing this world for the first time every day, even if our world is bigger than that room. It has made me more compassionate towards them and their experiences <3

  2. As per your advice I picked up Room today! Hoping to get my eyes on it as soon as I am done Graveminder :)

  3. Wow. The last time a book affected me like that it was Ken Follet's Pillars of the Earth. This one sound infinitely more painful. I've GOT to read it.

  4. Wow. I WANT that book. Sounds brilliant!

  5. MEAGHAN - I can only imagine! What a beautiful way of looking at things. Your bugz are lucky to have you.

    ZOMBIEMOM - Bailey is almost three quarters of the way through it!

    D- I'd lend it to you, but Karen's daughter is reading it, and then Aydra wants a crack. Buy it - it's absolutely worth it.

    JESSICA - I *would* put it in your package but there's a huge list of people that have already laid claim to it. I know you are trying to streamline your TBR pile, but I'd definitely consider this one. It's right up your alley.

  6. I read it in 2 days too! Such an amazing book! At one point I was reading in my room and I had to leave and go for a walk, it was starting to feel too real!

  7. JESS - I know what you mean about "going for a walk" - I even dreamed about Jack last night (and for once it wasn't even JACK BAUER :-P)

  8. omg. Books like that are so tough to get over. I love them, but wow. It's ... tough. :D

    thanks for the heads up, though! :o)