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Monday, March 12, 2012

Room-a book discussion

Monday Night Book Discussions
(written by Emma Donoghue)
Salina Public Library
Salina, KS
© Lydia Lowe  3/12/2012

Room . . . When I first picked up this book and glanced through it, I wasn't sure that I was going to like this.  It seemed like a dark subject.  I decided I'd read a chapter or two and then make up my mind.  Needless to say, once I'd read those two chapters, it was too late.  I was hooked.

I read this book at break neck speed.  It's easy to read and moves really fast.  The way the book is set up, there are few natural breaks, and even where natural breaks occur, the writer leaves enough at the end of the break that you need to keep going.  The book kept me reading long past when I should have put it down. 

The book is told through Jack, the 5 year old's voice, and he has a unique, very formal way of speaking.  I think the fact that Jack tells this story, it makes the story better, more accessible.  He has so much innocence, curiosity, and adaptability to his circumstances which makes him a natural fit for the narrator.  The mother and son help each other through the book; pushing, pulling and prodding each other.  Where one holds back, the other surges forward.  I think this is how they are able to get through their struggles and come out the other side.

I have never read anything quite like this book before.  It's a one of a kind.  Yes, the subject is dark, but it's a subject that is being talked about more and more.  I don't know that I would have had the same reaction to this subject had it not been for news reports about Elizabeth Fritzl, Elizabeth Smart or Jaycee Dugard.  This is most definitely a fictionalized account and a good read.

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