ROOM: or Emma Donoghue, walls, and me

all books are best when you know as little as possible about the plotline — and ROOM particularly so. i don’t read summaries hardly ever anymore, and i didn’t in this case. all i knew was that people i trusted were liking it. so you will get no plot summary from me — and if you can avoid it at all, don’t get one anywhere else. just pick it up and read it.

and you will see. Donoghue takes apart the world and reassembles it in ways that will surprise you over and over again. ROOM is heart-breaking and funny, menacing and whimsical. the author walks a tightrope, does it well, and every now and then fakes a wobble and follows it up with a back-flip just to prove she can. i cannot remember the last time the ending of a book made me cry — but this one did it.

fair warning: this is the part where i get really personal, so. read on at your own peril. why say it at all? because this is my blog and i get to do this kind of thing. so there.

ROOM struck a real chord with me, because while i do not compare myself in any way to Donoghue’s characters, i know what it is like to have walls built around me. a bad relationship-turned-bad marriage will do that, emotionally (not physically, thank the powers that be). ROOM evokes the helplessness, the frustration, the conniving, the enforced silence, everything that comes with that feeling of being caged, by whatever, whomever and however. the author made real choices, difficult choices, on what to tell in this story and how to tell it, and that she pulled it off – in spades – is a testament to her abilities as a storyteller, a writer, and a human being. so, Emma Donoghue: one day i hope to shake your hand in person. for now, i will content myself with a *wave* and my sincere thanks.

ROOM: or Emma Donoghue, walls, and me

9 thoughts on “ROOM: or Emma Donoghue, walls, and me

  1. Suejustbooks says:

    I loved your review of this book, and now I can’t wait to read it! This helps me prioritize the big box of books I sent home from BEA,all of which I’m excited about. I particularly like your voice in your blog and your abilitiy to make personal connections (good or bad) when writing about the books you read. Thanks.

  2. You really make me want to read it sooner rather than later. I’d been hearing people talk it up, but you went one further. This is going on the read immediately pile! (And thanks for no spoilers or summary 🙂 )

  3. Rich says:

    Can’t wait to read Room! Requested an ARC, but haven’t seen one yet. It looks gloriously strange, yet grounded in the real world. Thanks for not spoiling the plot, Jenn.

  4. […] First day at Book Expo America 2010 – ‘I would have trampled people to get my mitts on [a proof copy of ROOM]…’ – Janet Reid ‘Donoghue takes apart the world and re-assembles it in ways that will surprise you over and over again.’ – jennIRL […]

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