Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus More

Room by Emma Donoghue

Posted by Teddyrose@1 on November 2, 2010
Posted in Books Read in 2010Emma Donoghue  | 9 Comments

Right after Jack turns 5 years old, the world as he know it starts to change. He always thought that the room that his ma and him lived in was the whole world. He’s never been outside and doesn’t even know it exists. Ma told Jack that everything on television was pretend.

Jack is the narrator of the story and as it unfolds he and the reader slowly learn the truth. His Ma was kidnapped off of her college campus at the age of 19, by Old Nick. She was taken to the room, which is a converted from garden shed into a prison and she was repeatedly raped. She has been there for 7 years and gave birth to Jack while there, with no assistance.
Ma did everything she could to protect Jack from Old Nick and the truth. She tried to give Jack as normal a life as possible within the confines of the room. Each day of the week they have a routine which includes reading, writing, arithmetic, and even physical education. However, with Jack growing up it was time to reveal the truth. Room was not going to be big enough for a growing Jack for much longer.
It took a bit of time for me to get use to Jack as the narrator. He talked about the room and just about everything in it as if they were people. He knew a big vocabulary for his age however, had poor grammar, that of a 5 year old boy. Jack said, “Eggsnake is more longer than all around Room, we’ve been making him since I was three, he lives in Under Bed all coiled up keeping us safe.”
I wasn’t sure at first if I would be able to look beyond Jack’s poor grammar and enjoy the story. However, I was able to and really enjoyed the book, in an uncomfortable sort of way. The subject matter was uncomfortable and my heart ached for both Ma and Jack. By the time I was finished reading ‘Room’, I didn’t want it to end.
I recently saw Emma Donoghue at the 23 Vancouver International Writers and Readers Festival. You can read my coverage of it and my question to Ms. Donoghue, with her response, here.
Thanks to Brad Parsons of Hachette Book Group for sending me this book for review.
Also reviewed by:

Thoughts of Joy
The Written World
Farm Lane Books
A Bookworm’s World
Shhh I’m Reading… 

Did you review this book as well?  Leave a link in the comments and I will post it.

Copyright 2007-2010: All the posts within this blog were originally posted by Teddy Rose and should not be reproduced without express written permission.

The Sealed Letter by Emma Donoghue

Posted by Teddyrose@1 on April 19, 2008
Posted in Books Read 2008Emma DonoghueHistorical Fiction  | 5 Comments

Victorian Divorce- a National Scandal

In 1864 a scandal of huge proportions shook Great Britain. That scandal was due to a divorce case, which was quite new at the time. The Sealed Letter is based on this true scandal.

Miss Emily “Fido” Faithful was a businesswoman and feminist active in the British women’s movement. She was also a spinster (how I hate that word.) She ran into her friend, Helen Codrington by chance, or so we believe. She used to live with Helen and her husband Harry before they moved away to Malta. Fido got caught up in the details of Helen’s failing marriage and tries to help her as a loyal friend would. With mud slinging from both sides in court and the tabloids, can Fido keep her reputation in tact?

I don’t normally enjoy tabloid dramas, however this is an exception. I love Victorian era stories and Emma Donoghue weaves a good story. It appears well researched and her characters are vivid and come to life. Emma helps the reader see each character’s side of the story rather then just slanting it in the favor of one side. This makes for a balanced, well-written, and entertaining story.

Thanks to Harper Collins Canada for the advanced readers copy.
Copyright 2007-2010: All the posts within this blog were originally posted by Teddy Rose and should not be reproduced without express written permission.