Thursday, 17 November 2016

"Room" by Emma Donoghue

  I found myself in a 'book club dilemma' again.  This is the November choice for one of my book clubs.  I read it when it was first published in 2011 and really didn't enjoy it.
  However, I have a commitment to my book clubs, so I decided to re-read the book.
  I know that this book has been very popular.  It has won many awards and was made into a movie.  Some of my friends really enjoyed it.
   Once again, my opinion is not the popular one.
   "Room" is written in the voice of Jack, 5 years old.  His mother had been abducted 7 years previously and held captive in a windowless shed where she was used for sex by "Old Nick"- the kidnapper.  She had one baby that died because Old Nick wouldn't help at the birth.
   Jack has a strange speech pattern which irritated me.  His mother interacted with him all day with games and stories, so why wouldn't he talk like her?  The sentences are so disjointed that there is no flow to the story.
   Then, after they escape, you read all the terms used by the social workers- cognitive distortions, depersonalization.  It just doesn't fit when it is first person narration.
  I didn't think it worked to use the voice of the boy.  
Author Emma Donoghue
Emma Donoghue, 47, born in Ireland, now lives in London, Ontario with her partner and children.  Her latest book was published this year- "Wonder".  The publisher says it is: "a tale of two strangers who transform each other's lives, a powerful psychological thriller, and a story of love pitted against evil."

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