March Book Club

March 15, 2011

Last night’s meeting was a great success. We were low on numbers but this didn’t matter a bit. That’s not to say we didn’t miss our regular dear readers! Really looking forward to catching up in May (see the reading list below). We delved deep into the book and our discussion raised lots of strong opinions and thoughts about Room by Emma Donoghue. The book was shortlisted for the Man Booker prize last year and has featured on many book club reading lists…have a listen to the author discussing Room on the Radio 4 Front Row programme.

What a book! An incredibly disturbing and desperate subject matter; a small boy and his mother trapped in a room with no access to the outside world and all this is set in the mind of a five year old. The narration is unique and the grammar takes some getting used to. Some readers raced through parts of the book to see how the story unfolded and then other times found themselves tempted to skip through pages to avoid the horror of their confinement. The author, Emma Donoghue suggests that Jack’s innocence filters the horror and he sets the terms of the story.

Despite the confinement this book is ‘uplifting’; as the story develops you get to know Jack and Ma and their unique mother-son relationship. Ma is intensely protective of Jack; the author brings to your attention the powerful force of nature that exists to protect your child no matter what the circumstances. A few readers felt the author’s message was somewhat forced at times and I think we all agreed we were not entirely certain we would recommend Room to a friend. But as a reader reminded us last night…one of the features of our book club is to read titles we may not normally pick up at the bookstore!

Personally, I put off reading Room purely because of the subject matter, then I toughened up and read the book in two days…grabbing any free moments during a weekend to get to the end! I am fascinated by books and stories that push our imagination and how real some can seem…in this instance my protective nature rose up and stopped me imagining what it would be like to be in the place of Jack and Ma. Room was both easy and difficult to read, as ever I am impressed by an author’s achievements and grateful that Room lead to a brilliant book group discussion!

Readers are asked to choose one Classic and one Biography from our May Book Club Reading List…

Persuasion by Jane Austen

The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton

Dreams of My Father by Barack Obama

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

Oh, and this one is a must read…Happy Reading! xx








3 Responses to “March Book Club”

  1. maddydodo Says:

    This looks like a really interesting book – though with two young kids I’m struggling to find the time and energy to read at the moment! Is this an online book club or a ‘real life’ one?

  2. I absolutely LOVED Room – it was so completely different from anything else I’ve read, it was enormously compelling, and it managed to be absolutely horrific and hugely uplifting at the same time. Definitely the best book I’ve read so far this year.

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