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Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Reasons why you should read 'Room' by Emma Donoghue

I don't know if you've read 'Room'.  I've read it twice now, once for pleasure and then a re-read to teach it.  I've been reminded of the book twice today, once for a trivial oh-doesn't-Fran-find-silly-things-amusing reason and once for a much more serious reason.

The novel is about a woman who's been abducted and trapped for years by a man in a shed in his garden.  She has had a child by him and the only world the 5 year old child knows is 'Room'.  The mother faces problems when he begins to grow old enough to realise that the world he sees on the TV represents the real world, and she begins to plan to get him out.  It's a really fabulous read.  Donoghue says that the Fritzl case in Austria partly inspired her story.  She writes about her novel on her website here

If you've been watching the news today about the three women and a 6 year old child found trapped in a house in Ohio (item here), you'll know why I thought about the book.

That was, obviously, the serious reason.

The trivial reason?  A few weeks ago, I brought my copy of 'Room' back home from school. And, because there was no space for it on my bookshelf, I'd lain the book horizontally along the top of others.

This morning, I note that my husband, who hates horizontally-placed books, had squeeeeeeeezed Donoghue's novel in between two other books, upright, but very unsuccessfully, so the spine sticks right out past the others, with the big word 'ROOM' very obvious.

No room for 'Room'.  I love that kind of irony.



Fran's husband's idea of bookshelves.  He also rearranges cutlery drawers so
the spoons face in the same direction......





28 comments:

  1. You wouldn't have that problem with a Kindle.

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    1. This is true. And I do have a Kindle. But it doesn't give half the opportunities for annoying one's spouse.

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  2. of course the spoons face in the same direction, in all 4 dimensions.

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    1. I'm a bit dense when it comes to spoon references, Diana. You'll have to fill me in. Is it from Star Trek? Doctor Who?

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    2. It is ... mine. My cutlery drawer ;~)

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  3. I read "Room" 2 years ago & I still remember it vividly. Frightening, yet fascinating!!

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    1. That's a very good description.

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  4. This plot couldn't be more relevant considering the three women found alive in Cleveland after ten years of captivity.

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    1. I think her book will undergo a resurgence now, won't it?

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  5. I was reminded of 'Room' today watching the news from Ohio..such a sad situation, but how fantastic that they have been freed. Enjoyed the book also. Does your husband re-arrange what you put in the dishwasher....mine does....sometimes I put them in anyoldhow just to tease him.......

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    1. We don't have a dishwasher, unfortunately. But if I pack a case for us to go on holiday, he has to unpack it and re-do my pathetic efforts.

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  6. I loved @Room' when I read it when it first came out - it's the sort of book I'd like to write if I was going to write a novel (shame someone thought of the idea first!)

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    1. Yes, exactly! If only we lived in Shakespeare's day when it was absolutely fine to pinch someone else's idea and make it your own ...

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  7. My heart aches for these women & children ( imagine the joy of being reunited with parents who find they are grandparents but oh the problems they face )
    I love the irony ! My father was a Royal Marine Commando - everything had to be done with military precision. He'd tell my brothers wo drain the spoond bowl side doen - silly really as one brother was washing, one wiping & one putting away !

    He tied great rope swings though !

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    1. These people are always good at knots!

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  8. I read " Room"a year or so ago, and loved it.....I have since recommended it to so many people! It is our next book club read , so may have to read it again, which will be no hardship. I thought it would be a sad and hard to read book, but actually fascinating and uplifting ( and a page turner to boot)

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    1. Your book club will love it, I'm sure. So much to talk about. And, as you say, one of those you can't put down. I think I read it in a day. Let's just say that I'm currently reading Dickens' 'Dombey and Son' and it's going to take me until 2026 at this rate.

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  9. Yes, I read Room last year. Our daughter read it half-way through but had to stop, as she found the subject matter too upsetting. A powerful story, indeed. Have you seen this footage from 1957? Captive in a Cave

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    1. Couldn't believe that footage, especially at the end when they said they were now having to decide WHETHER to prosecute ... thanks for leaving the link.

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  10. I had reservations about Room, especially the ending (which I wont' go into in case anyone who reads this hasn't read the book). But it was a big task to tackle a whole novel set in such a restricted place, and I'd applaud the author for that.

    Love the irony!

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    1. Yes, she did it brilliantly, I thought. In fact, you get hooked in yourself to the idea that the whole world involves just one room, and that's CLEver!

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  11. My book shelves are beautifully organized. They make me so happy. I keep hearing about the women in Ohio. Very scary story. I'm a little afraid that "Room" might give me nightmares.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Well, put it this way - things change for the characters, if that helps. It's really worth a read.

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    2. I think I'll add it to my amazon wish list.

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  12. I loved that book - the way she created the world through the child's eyes - and I was on the edge of my seat through that whole middle section when... SPOILER ALERT ... he's trying to get out. That was one of my top books last year.

    p.s. of course spoons have to all face the same way. Also bank notes.

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    1. The bank notes in my purse face the same way all right. Outwards.

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  13. Didn't think I could cope with Room , so chickened out . I wonder how the little girl will cope with life ?

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    1. I thought exactly the same. You should try Room again. It's worth the heartache.

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