Book Review: Room
By Alexis Mercer
Let me start with a correction. I made an error in my first book review. I wrote that I am part of a book club, and that it “isn’t like your mom’s book club.” Which as a generalization works just fine from what I have heard about many book clubs. But my Mom reads my articles, apparently. Because I was made aware that MY Mom’s book club is just as fantastic and progressive and fun as my own. Sorry, Mom (and all her book club ladies, too). I stand corrected. And I will try to prevent further generalizations that get me in trouble. Oops.
Having said that, this month’s book was chosen on April 24. And I put off starting it until May 27th. Before I explain why, let me say that I am the only member of Book Club who has read every book since we started. I’m not throwing stones here, but everyone else has missed at least one book for various reasons. I read the books. So for me to even consider not reading one was completely out of character.
But this book scared me. I don’t read horror books. And I was worried this would leave me with nightmares due to its realistic, horrific plot line.
So I ordered it on April 24 and it sat on my bedside nightstand staring at me week after week. I read another book, I graded papers, I edited yearbook pages, and I tried to figure out how in the world I would get through this book.
You see, as a woman and a mother, the last thing I wanted to read is anything about a woman being taken by a man, held captive, having a child of his and figuring out how to escape from the room in which he holds them.
But that was the book that was chosen. So I was in a pickle.
I brought the book with me for the long weekend. And on May 27, I found myself sitting on the beach while my husband took the kids fishing just up the road. I had nothing but time. So I opened the book.
And five hours later I finished the last page.
Room, by Emma Donoghue, was so well-written I couldn’t stop. It is an uncomfortable, scary idea on which to base a book. But it was so well-done that I couldn’t help but continue. I had to know what was going to happen to “Ma” and her son, Jack.
The book starts on Jack’s 5th birthday in Room, the place where the two are held captive. I was immediately sucked in to Jack’s story. He is the narrator throughout. It was a nice reprieve from many books I have read lately where the perspective flips from one person to the next. Instead, the whole book was from his point of view. And it was masterfully done.
While the entire book was sad in that I hate the idea that this is such a realistic piece of fiction, it was also mesmerizing. It was the kind of book that will stay with me long after I read the final page.
I wouldn’t recommend this book to everyone, but I would say that if you find a bit of bravery and are wanting for a book that is unique and intriguing, this could be your book.
And now I am still the only one who has read all the books for the club, which is just as fantastic as my Mom’s.
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