Saturday, May 12, 2012

Room, by Emma Donoghue

Last weekend, Saturday and Sunday then Monday when I woke up insanely early, I read Room, by Emma Donoghue. I had to read it all, right away.

This is a book I'd vaguely heard about, but I picked it up rather randomly off the "Lucky Day!" shelf at the library, thinking to myself how stupid it was to check out a must-read-in-three-weeks book (Lucky Day! books can't be renewed) when I have so many at home that I've been renewing for months now (and some boughten ones... but yeah).

But this is an amazing book. Told by the five-year-old Jack, it's the story of a little boy born to a woman kidnapped and held hostage, basically as a sex slave, in a little shed in "Old Nick"'s yard. Two years into captivity (the woman is known as "Ma" throughout the book, though Jack learns and acknowledges when they get out of "Room" that she has two other names, first and last), Ma has Jack. When Jack turns five, Ma proposes an escape plan. It involves Jack acting sick, then acting dead, so Old Nick will take him out of the room. Their plan has nine steps; "We say the plan over and over to practice me of the nine. Dead, Truck, Wriggle Out, Jump, Run, Somebody, Note, Police, Blowtorch." Jack has a note hidden in his underwear, and they're going to break Ma out of Room with a blowtorch.

Except when it works, Jack misses Room. Which isn't such a surprise, really. When that's your whole world? The whole big world would be way too much, not to mention unbelievable.

I could say lots more about it, but I really think you should just read it. And I should shut up, already.

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