Saturday, September 20, 2014

Room: a book club review

Had I known what Room was about before I read it, I might have skipped this book club selection by Emma Donoghue. That would have been my loss. While the situation of the narrator and his mom is horrifying, that the story is told by a five-year old boy is brilliant, engaging, and eye opening. 

I don't actually want to say too much about the plot, and if you read Room I encourage you not to read too much about it first. Much of the power in this story comes from seeing it through the narrator's eyes and you risk diminishing that power. 

Life in 'Room' is its own special culture. Reading it as I prepared for my own cultural immersion was a great lesson. People can adapt to almost any situation - how they do that is not for people outside of that situation to judge.

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What an incredible treat to get to attend the September book club meeting on the day of my departure. Hooray for brunch meetings! Having missed August, I was glad to get one more meeting in before my long absence.

Six of the seven women in attendance that day are moms; four of those six are moms of boys. I can't presume that reading Room was more powerful for any of us than for readers who don't have children, but I would say that gave us a particular perspective in the narrator. 

During our three-word review circle words like 'difficult,' 'creepy,' and 'challenging' came up, yet we were unanimous in saying that we would recommend this book. That's never actually happened before. We didn't necessarily like it, per se, but we would recommend it.

Thanks beautiful ladies for the hugs, and thanks Melissa for the salad bar full of things I might not get to eat here in Kingston! 

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