Confession time: I am a scaredy cat. Okay, let me rephrase that…sometimes I am foolishly brave, but that’s a whole different ball game; usually situations that involve going out on a limb or whatever. The kind of scaredy cat I’m talking about today is that I hate suspense. I like to see the big picture. I know the whole magic of life is watching all the events unfold, but I literally despise transitions – the in-between. I hate not-knowing, the sickening feeling of uncertainty. I just want to know that everything works out, but better yet I’d like to know right now how exactly it works out. So, I’m pretty sure my aversion to suspense is why I avoid certain topics. (I used to be a serious Law & Order junkie until I realized that irrational amount of paranoia was wreaking havoc in my brain. Convinced that the creeks in the kitchen in the middle of the night, or the scratches from branches on windows were definitely “bad guys” coming to kidnap or kill me were pretty typical scenarios).
The unfortunate result of this avoidance, is that sometimes I miss out on some great stuff. This time, the novel Room by Emma Donoghue. I remember when it was first released a few years ago, I was convinced I’d have nightmares if I read it. Then when I heard they were making a film, my interest peaked. (The trailer didn’t look so scary). Also, you know I was obsessed with Short Term 12, so I was curious about Brie Larson’s role in this. Well, it came and went from the movie theatre here too fast for me to catch it, but if you watched the Oscars last Sunday then you know that Larson won the award for Best Actress for her role as “Ma” in Room. On Monday I paid a visit to the library. I was actually looking for something else, but there was Room, screaming for me to pick it up from the shelf. I started reading it before I went to sleep that night, and I was finished with the novel by Wednesday. Shame on me for waiting so long.
Although the subject matter of Room is definitely intense, the fact that it’s told from the view point of five-year old Jack brings a whole different perspective to the situation. Jack’s Ma, was kidnapped when she was 19 by a stranger in a parking lot. Having been held captive in a sound-proofed shed for 7 years, and giving birth to Jack while held there – “room” is all Jack has ever known of the world. This is an incredible story of the strong bond between mother and child, and the power of perception and resilience. Maybe I read this so quickly because in certain scenes my heart was thumping so hard in my chest, I needed my brain to work quicker to absorb the words because I HAD to know what happened next. Room is such a powerful story, and I already started recommending it to friends. I feel silly for avoiding it for so long. I think the characters will stick with me for a while. I think this is a story that challenges readers to really think about situations in the what “what would you do?” sense. It also made me appreciate the wonder of the world from a child’s perspective, and all the intricate ways we communicate and interact on a daily basis.
All in all, I say if you’re like me and drug your feet on reading this – get to it! Go read it now!
(Image via: goodreads.)