Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Tuesday Books for Writers! Room by Emma Donoghue

I haven't done a Tuesday Books for Writers post in such a long time and I apologize. I challenged myself to put into words why a book should be read by a writer. Sometimes I'm afraid to take the challenge. Even though I've been reading for nearly 25 years, I am still learning how to be an active reader, how to understand what a writer did to make a book sing.

Fortunately, after reading Emma Donoghue's Room, I didn't struggle at all to understand what made it so good.

She did something I've never seen before. She told a story from the point of view of a five year old. Before I sat down to read it, I was skeptical of this choice. I write for preschoolers all day and getting in the frame of mind to do that can make you, (to put it really elegantly), completely wacko. I didn't think I could handle 320 pages of this voice. But, the words moved across the page so easily, I thought I might prefer it if every book was told by a five year old. The speech patterns were so true to life, so flawless, so refreshing. Nothing felt forced and the narrator, Jack, was so endearing, I wanted to whisk him away and keep him forever with me...which, incidentally, is what the book is about, a touching, beautiful, story of a mother and son who are locked away in a tiny room. Two people whose entire mission in life is to keep one another safe.

I really want you to read this book! It's like nothing I've ever read before. When I closed the book, I was so in awe, so impressed, so amazed by this story. The blurb by Audrey Niffenegger says it best, "...when it's over you look up: the world looks the same but you are somehow different and that feeling lingers for days." When I read it, I consistently had the feeling that I was looking at the world for the first time. A new perspective in every sense of the word. I loved it.

1 comment:

  1. Finally, I'm taking a break from YA to read books for grown-ups, and now I'm going to pick up a novel told from a five-year-old's POV! And, I'm absolutely going to read this. Your review hooked me. I'm so curious to see how the writer pulled it off. I just read One Day by David Nicholls which you might like if you liked The Time Traveler's Wife.