Today I revelled in something that I haven’t enjoyed in far, far too long. (And it wasn’t voting.)
Today I visited another world, a world which drew me in so completely that I wanted to tme travel to see what was coming round the corner.
This world was created by Emma Donoghue, in her engrossing, moving novel Room.
I didn’t anticipate that I’d read all 401 pages today, but Room wouldn’t let me go.
At one point, I actually toyed with the idea of skipping ahead because the tension was almost too much for me.
Written from the perspective of a four, then five year old boy, I was enthralled by the story of a mother and child held captive in an 11 foot square room, in a suburban garden in an unidentified American city. Abducted off the street as a 19 year old, Room explores the relationships between a young woman and her child, and their captor, Old Nick.
The story unfolds at a fantastically captivating pace, and as I sat reading in my small living room, I had no idea where the story would lead me. As a reader, that’s the most exciting feeling!
I felt like I was in the room with Jack, as he described his daily life with his mother, their routines and songs, their moments of quiet connectedness and of fear. Jack’s vocabulary was wonderful, and I could hear my niece’s speech patterns in the mangling of tenses and jumbling of ideas. That room was all Jack knew of the world, and I loved feeling him grapple with the notion of Outside, which is something I think we all grapple with from time to time. The world is a big, uncertain, and sometimes scary place to navigate.
The setting reminded me of another favourite book of mine, The Collector by John Fowles.
Something about people behind locked doors appeals to me for some odd reason!
There’s something special about reading that’s different to binge watching a favourite TV series, or even going to a movie.
I’d go so far as to say that reading captures us in a deeper way, because we are participating in the story.
When we read, we determine the pace at which the story unfolds.
I was holding my breath at various moments, willing Jack to be scave.
Today reminded me how much I love great writing, because writing has the power to transport us, to move us, to teach us and to expand us.
Sadly, it seems easy to forget how awesomely satisfying a good book can be.
I don’t want to forget, I need to make room for more reading in my life.
I don’t know if I’ll get through another 400 pages this weekend, but I’m definitely going to move reading up on my priority list.
Do you like reading?
Have you read Room? What did you think of it? Should I see the film adaptation?
What’s on your bedside table or iPad at the moment?
Got a recommendation to share?
Thank you Emma, Room was a wonderful ride.