Saturday, August 13, 2011
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 pain...it 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.
The Book In My Bag Today: The Hypnotist, Lars Kepler