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ROOM By Emma Donoghue November 3, 2011

Posted by lycan librarian in book reviews, Books and reading.
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     The Lycan Librarian loved Donoghue’s novel, SLAMMERKIN. She is a good writer who tackles dark subjects, and that is what urged this reader to finish the author’s newest selection. ROOM is about a nineteen year old girl who is abducted and kept in a garden shed for seven years. The tale begins when her son Jack, the product of one of the numerous rapes she suffers through the years,  is five years old, and the story is told from his point of view. There are times when the boy’s voice is almost babyish, and others when it seems too adult, and that was bothersome. Many of the scenes bordered on boring as the two entertained themselves during the eternal days and nights in one room, but that was probably the author’s intent. That device, however, did not work well  for this reader. I did finish the book,  but never fully connected with either mother or son, so although I was curious to see what happened, I didn’t root for them one way or the other. (I know that sounds pretty terrible, but I’m just bring honest, and, hey, this is fiction!)
     My guess is many other readers will have more of an emotional connection to the plight of the pair. The boy, after all, was born in the room so had virtually no childhood. The mother must bear, along with many other trials, a bad tooth and her captor will not take her to a dentist, so she simply has to try to ignore the pain until the tooth literally rots out of her mouth. It is, indeed, a horrifying situation.
     The book is an easy read and even with the tedious passages, it goes quickly. If you are intrigued with the real life stories of the numerous unfortunate girls who are taken and hidden away by perverts and other nut cases, then you will probably savor this selection from beginning to end. Alas, this reader can merely offer it a lukewarm review.

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