Riveting. Read this nearly in one sitting. Incredibly well crafted, ‘Room’ is a crazy but successful exercise in trying to inhabit the minds of people whose experience is far outside your own ken.
I wonder if Emma Donoghue wrote this purely from reading reports of abductions, or if she interviewed women who have lived through this particular hell – the frame of the story is a hybrid of several high-profile kidnapping cases, particularly those of Colleen Stan and Jaycee Dugard.
Narrating from the POV of Jack, the five year old, was a wise choice. It allows the nightmare of their situation to be blunted by his lack of full comprehension; wordplay comedy and bath time and ‘Dora the Explorer’ dull the knife edge of fear that gripped me every time I witnessed the mother protecting Jack from the brutal truth.
Beyond her stoicism and endurance, Ma’s creativity blew my mind; the toys they build from trash and the games she invents – particularly ‘Parrot’ – were so inventive and educational I wanted to take notes.
Probably one of the scariest books I have read in a long time, because of the awful reality that such abominable acts do happen. Worth reading.
For more gripping drama and compelling reading, you might try…
4 of 5 stars / bookshelves: read, 321 pages, Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (2010)
Read from July 28 to 30, 2012