Sunday, July 3, 2011


I read Room by Emma Donoghue on a recommendation. I had it on reserve at the library for more than a month before it became available, so I thought it must be a good read. I brought the book along on our family vacation to Dallas.

The fictional story is told from the point-of-view of a five year-old boy. He has lived his entire life in an 11x11 foot room. He was born in "room", delivered by his own mother who had been held captive in "room" for seven years by a random kidnapper.

Yep...pretty heavy stuff.

The mom does a pretty good job of raising her son given the circumstances. But she's starting to lose it mentally and the boy is getting more curious about their little world.

The first half of the book is extremely repetitive, as you might imagine for two people trapped in a small space. I was bored while reading it, but just interested enough to discover if/how they would get out of their little prison.

So I kept reading.

The mom and boy did escape about mid-way through the book. I must admit that those were heart-pounding pages. But after they made it to safety, I still had more than one hundred pages to go.

The last half was even more depressing as the mom is trying to come to terms with everything that happened to her and in the world during the last seven years. She is so unstable that she can't even help her son. And the boy, he is so confused and scared that he just wants to go back to "room" to live alone with his mom. In the end, they both begin to cope with their new surroundings and make plans for a new life together.

It took four days to read the book, which is record time for me. But it was not a light, fun summer read. I found this book to be dark and depressing. Definitely not something to take along on a relaxing trip.

I was probably supposed to be inspired about people overcoming adversity and moving on, but this book was not inspirational. It had a few funny moments as the five year-old was discovering the world around him...kind of like a puppy...but other than that, it was mostly dreary and disturbing.

So I will only pass on this recommendation: unless depressing literature is your thing, don't read Room.

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