Mama in the City

A blog about raising my family in downtown Vancouver

What's On My Night Stand: Room and A Stolen Life

It turns out when I'm not working, which has been the case for the last 5 weeks, I do a lot more reading. I like to read before going to sleep and I'm no stranger to reading for extended times in the bath late at night. A few of my books have curled page corners from accidentally being dipped into my bubble bath.

Reading for pleasure is one of the first things that goes when I'm swamped, sleep deprived or just generally busy with day to day life. It has been so nice having Ben going off to bed around 7:30 PM, leaving me with this quiet peaceful evening to read. I've been reading so much that I've worked my way through 3 different books in the last 2 weeks. I think I'm enjoying reading even more knowing what is about to happen very soon. Than it will be all In Style and US Weekly magazines if I do have a spare minute to read.

On my reading radar right now is Room by Emma Donoghue. As soon as I got through the first few pages I knew I had found a good book and I was hooked. I read this book within a few nights and even gave up a bit of sleep so I could keep on reading past my bedtime. It was such a good read that as soon as I was finished I told one of my sisters to read it and she ended up feeling the same way I did. Engrossed and captured.



When I told my husband about the book I was reading, he gave me a very odd look and asked why I liked to read such morbid horrible stories. The truth is, I can't help it! The intensity of the unfolding of the story of Room had me hooked. The very short of the story is, a 19 year old college girl gets abducted and is put into a solitary room for years at the mercy of her capture. She gives birth to a son, by herself, and the story is told from his point of view at age 5.

Unfortunately, my husband thought that I'd enjoy all similarly themed books and gave me the memoir A Stolen Life by Jaycee Dugard. Detailing the real life abduction of a young girl who was with her capture for an astonishingly 18 years.



Both books share a suspiciously similar story about abduction and many points are alarmingly the same, however, they are still not comparable books. One is a well written novel with clarity and insight and the other is a memoir written by someone sharing their story.

Room is captivating in all of the details and emotions of both the boy and his mother and I could picture the actual room they lived and grew in. The emotions were palpable and the characters were created by someone who knows how to write. On the other side, the memoir by Jaycee Dugard is written at the educated level of the author, which is grade five. It gives some detail but sort of throws them at you leaving you to wonder about what else she experienced. Interestingly enough, I found Room to be insightful but I wasn't really phased by the abduction story in the real life book.

If one of your 2012 resolutions was to read more, I'd definitely recommend picking up Room by Emma Donoghue.

3 comments:

Sarah said...

I heard an interview on CBC radio with Emma Donoghue almost a year ago now talking about "Room" and it was what prompted me to pick it up. I loved it! It was a haunting read: months later, I still find myself thinking about Jack.

From the same interview, I learned that Donoghue was inspired by Jaycee Dugard story and fascinated by Stockholm Syndrome and that's what inspired Room. So your hubby wasn't far off at all! :o).

January 5, 2012 at 9:09 PM  
Jessica H. said...

I haven't read the second book but I have read ROOM and I totally recommend this book. I bought mine at Costco for some low price. A great read. Good choice.

January 6, 2012 at 8:35 AM  
Helen Lam said...

I just read the book by Jaycee Dugard but not Room. I didn't love the book. it was pretty elementary reading. I mean, I felt for her and it was terrible but the book didn't really need to be written. I know she goes to say how she is going to horrify you with these truths about what happened to her...but the real truth is, over the 18 years that she was held captive we had TV shows like CSI that showed us just how gross people can be. So, her telling us the stories about her rapes weren't really that shocking. Know what i mean? We are desensitized to it.

January 6, 2012 at 10:20 AM  

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