"Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested." (Francis Bacon)

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Room

TITLE: Room
AUTHOR: Emma Donoghue

Room is a remarkable book. Told in the voice of 5-year-old Jack, it's the story of survival, endurance, and hope under the worst of conditions. Jack's mother was kidnapped when she was 19 and imprisoned in Room where she was repeatedly raped by her captor and bore his child. She's done everything she could to give him a good life and for his first five years, Jack's entire universe is Room, his only experience of the outside world coming from an old TV where, he's been told, everything is pretend. But Jack is growing and asking questions and Room is getting too small for him. If he's to have a future, they need to escape.

Donaghue's prose is simple and direct, presenting everything from Jack's chidish perspective. The story, and the suspense, is minimal, but the words resonate and have stuck with me. I wanted to know more. I want to know what comes next. It's been a while since I read a book so simple, yet so emotionally powerful.