Making room

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. 




14 thoughts on “Making room

  1. it sounds enthralling thanks Annette!
    I agree! their is something magical about being with one’s own book!
    it spells out, DO NOT DISTURB!
    I’ve just finished M TRAIN by patti smith and love her writing
    I have lingered much longer with this book than I normally would
    as I have loved her insightful take on things! … ofcourse she is of my generation! … the same time line knowledge!
    she knows much about art and living as an artist! not in a superficial way but deep and meaningful! … I love to savour the words! it is delicious!
    I’ve loved it!
    I told a friend (who was in art admin) what I was reading and she read it on a ship cruise when she was confined to her room with a virus! … she also loved it and has read other books by patti smith too!
    mine is a library book and I must return it!!! … mind you they took 2 months to get it in!
    happy reading hun! love m:)X


  2. Hi Annette I watched this on the plane. I don’t watch anything generally but you know long trips I quite liked it. It wasn’t the best film ever but it passed the time. I couldn’t get into the book, I found the narrative annoying but I don’t think I gave it long enough.
    It ages since I read a really good book that I raved about as I’m often trying to get through the book club books that arnt always my choice. I often fail! But we did read the elegance of the hedgehog last year… Something like that… It was set in a French apartment block and I was swooning over the writing. So good x


  3. Hi Annette, I’ve just finished ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns’ and have started another book by the same author (Khaled Hosseini), ‘And the Mountains Echoed’, I’m enjoying his writing, and also learning about other cultures and the strengths of women.

    I recently also read ‘The Golfinch’ and I would have to say it’s one of my favourites. If I shut the book I felt bad that the characters had to wait for me 🙂

    I try and make time to read, it was never a habit growing up, but something I’m trying to make happen daily now.


  4. I read Room in two days, whilst on a camping trip. Needless to say I wasn’t as present to the environment (or my family) as I usually would be. I too found myself totally engrossed and compelled to keep reading and this is so rare for me these days. It reminds me of being a teenager when I would devour book after book, spend the whole weekend just reading and only coming up for meals. I recommended this book to so many people! I’ve decided not to see the movie, movies after books always disappoint me and I just don’t think I want to mess with the power of her words. ( let me know if you do though, and what you thought please)


    • I used to DEVOUR books too! I would love to reignite that practice. Being away is the perfect time to fall into a book. Holidays are about everyone recharging, I’m glad you enjoyed Room as much as I did.


  5. I read Room not long after it came out. I found it both heartbreaking and heartwarming in the way Jack’s mum was able to create a ‘normal’ world for him. I read it quickly but I felt I had to to be able to stick with Jack’s voice because it was so unique – a big like with A Curious Incident with a Dog in the Night Time. I haven’t seen the movie and I don’t think I really want to – I think it could be a bit intense. I’m reading The Eye of the Sheep at the moment and I’m really enjoying it. The child narrator, Jimmy, also has a unique perspective on the world (I’m assuming he’s autistic) and this is beautifully expressed by Sofie Laguna.


  6. I love reading – I go through a book a week at least thanks to book clubs and working next door to a library / plus buying a few (new, op shops and Allen & Unwin comps). Having said that, I had a few years break when the kids were little. The downside is not much TV (maybe that’s not too much of a downside!) Happy to lend any – I’ve got a copy of each of the books discussed in the comment (except The Goldfinch which I found dragged too much, so I gave it away). Or look on Goodreads – I write a review for most books I read 🙂


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