I read a lot of books and share many recommendations to people I think will enjoy them, but occasionally I come across a book so powerful, such a game-changer, that I pester everyone I know to read it. I think the last one that really got me to this degree was Kathryn Stockett's The Help. This year, the book drug I'm pushing is Room by Emma Donoghue.
Why was I so blown away? First off, there's the narrator, five-year-old Jack, who has never been outside of the single room he shares with Ma, a room he believes to be the entire world. All other places, people, animals are make believe, or as he calls it "on TV."
Jack and his Ma share a beautiful bond, a relationship that fills the reader with admiration for a mother making the very best of the worst situation imaginable. For even filtered through Jack's innocence, the reader gradually comes to understand that this unimaginably brave young mother is not trapped in Room by choice,
To share more would be to lessen the impact of discovery, which is what makes the book so extraordinary that I have no doubt it will stay with me forever. Discover it for yourself. I can't imagine you'll be sorry.
Jack's voice is one of the pure triumphs of the novel... Donoghue rearranges language to evoke the sweetness of a child's learning without making him coy or overly darling.... This is a truly memorable novel, one that can be read through myriad lenses - psychological, sociological, political. It presents an utterly unique way to talk about love, all the while giving us a fresh, expansive eye on the world in which we live."- Aimee Bender, New York Times Book Review
"Powerful.... Seen entirely through Jack's eyes and childlike perceptions, the developments in this novel--there are enough plot twists to provide a dramatic arc of breathtaking suspense--are astonishing.... Donoghue brilliantly portrays the psyche of a child raised in captivity...will keep readers rapt." - Publishers Weekly