Room, Chapters 1 and 2 (Presents and Unlying)

Room This book blew me away from the start. Admittedly, I was intrigued/concerned by the fact that it was narrated by a five-year-old (would the heft of the story come through? would it just seem flippant or childish?), but in my opinion, Emma Donoghue nailed it. Jack was completely authentic and the language well-crafted–telling the story from Jack's perspective was so powerful in its simplicity. His world was Room–he had nothing to compare anything else to–and the purity of this point of view shone through. I can't imagine it being told any other way. What do you think? Do you like Jack as the narrator?

I also was amazed by their daily routine–and to think, by comparison, how much more we pack into our daily lives. Granted, we are thankfully not imprisoned in a Room. But from "phys ed" to tv time to meals, the structure Ma has established for their lives seems almost enviable. Is that twisted to say? It seems that establishing rules and discipline gave Ma some semblance of control of the situation. Or do you think she needed structure  because the alternative (watching hours of tv a day) was just so depressing?

I also appreciated the fact that you were immersed in their lives before you actually found out how they got there. Soon, we get to the shift from Lying to Unlying. Ma is starting to crack the facade of Room and begins to tell Jack the truth about their situation and the world around them. I wonder, what is the benefit of this? Is ignorance truly bliss? Though Ma knows the truth, will having Jack learn more about the outside world just make their time together and their relationship in the Room that much harder to cope with? Or did she need to break the bubble for her own sanity? What would you do in this situation?

I don't want to put this book down–though it leaves me unsettled and anxious, I am truly enjoying reading it and NEED to know what happens next. To that end, I'd love to hear from you guys about the pace you'd like to read this book. It is such a page-turner–shall we tackle the next two chapters for next week (Dying and After) or finish the whole book? Let me know what you think.

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