On a warm summer’s night, six of us met to discuss Emma Donohue’s ‘Room’, a bittersweet tale about a little boy, Jack, who has never known life outside of the small room in which he and his mother are imprisoned.
One of our members found this concept entirely too upsetting, and only read a few chapters. The rest of us, however, found it to be an uplifting and hopeful story about growth and freedom.
One of the main themes we discussed was whether we felt Ma did a good job raising Jack in this tiny prison. Was she right to not tell him of the outside world? Was it kinder to let him believe that Room was all there was? Jack is actually an incredibly bright and well-adjusted child, so there was certainly some merit to her decision.
Ma and Jack are in this room due to a man, Old Nick, kidnapping Ma off the street when she was only a teenager. One of the interesting decisions of the author was to never delve deeper into this. We never really found out what Old Nick had done to Ma, or how she had coped imprisoned for all of those years before Jack came along. I couldn’t help but noticed similarities to John Fowler’s ‘The Collector’, which almost seems like a prequel.
The Collector is a fantastic book, which I highly recommend. Follow this link to learn more about it.
Overall, we felt that Room was an excellent book, rating it 4.2 out of 5 stars.
Despite the proximity to Christmas, we agreed to meet again in late December to discuss our next book, ‘Calling Me Home’ by Julie Kibler.
Calling Me Home by Julie Kibler is a soaring debut interweaving the story of a heartbreaking, forbidden love in 1930s Kentucky with an unlikely modern-day friendship
Eighty-nine-year-old Isabelle McAllister has a favor to ask her hairdresser Dorrie Curtis. It’s a big one. Isabelle wants Dorrie, a black single mom in her thirties, to drop everything to drive her from her home in Arlington, Texas, to a funeral in Cincinnati. With no clear explanation why. Tomorrow.
Dorrie, fleeing problems of her own and curious whether she can unlock the secrets of Isabelle’s guarded past, scarcely hesitates before agreeing, not knowing it will be a journey that changes both their lives.
Over the years, Dorrie and Isabelle have developed more than just a business relationship. They are friends. But Dorrie, fretting over the new man in her life and her teenage son’s irresponsible choices, still wonders why Isabelle chose her.
Isabelle confesses that, as a willful teen in 1930s Kentucky, she fell deeply in love with Robert Prewitt, a would-be doctor and the black son of her family’s housekeeper—in a town where blacks weren’t allowed after dark. The tale of their forbidden relationship and its tragic consequences makes it clear Dorrie and Isabelle are headed for a gathering of the utmost importance and that the history of Isabelle’s first and greatest love just might help Dorrie find her own way.