Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Room by Emma Donoghue

Note: Over time, I'm going to transfer the reviews from my other blog over here so all my reviews are in the same place. This was originally posted on January 23, 2011.

9 out of 10: This book has been on my to-read list since it came out. I knew it was a story of a long-term kidnapping with a child born into the situation, and that the book was written from his 5 year old perspective. Can you even imagine? I definitely couldn't and so this book was so much more than I thought. The story of Ma's kidnapping, captivity and their escape is all interesting. I got so much more than an entertaining reading session or two.

I got a look at what solo-parenting would really look like. Not just single parenting, but full on solo-parenting. No one to help you, no parenting books, nothing. I'm so glad I'll never have to do that. Before the escape, I thought to myself while reading about how hard it must have been for Ma. After the escape, I realized just how abnormal it is and how important it is to have a supportive family or community behind you as a parent.

Along those lines, Ma does some things as a parent that society doesn't agree with once they hear about it. For one, she never cuts his hair. People call him a girl as they start to venture out. The biggest things, though, were co-sleeping (except when the kidnapper came at night) and extended breastfeeding. They just can't believe he is still breastfed. Yes, he is 5. It made sense to me, though. All of these things change, slowly, after the escape. His adjustment to the world was actually heart-breaking to read. It's so hard for him that he at first just wants to go back to Room.

I read a lot. Many books are interesting while I am reading, but soon forgotten. I already know that Room will stay with me for a long time. It made me think about my parenting style and it's helping me have more empathy for Brayden and all other children.

1 comment:

  1. I've been meaning to read this for a while, although I have to admit I'm a little apprehensive because of how intense it sounds. And the breastfeeding makes perfect sense to me too, because it's only in a few Western countries that people consider it weird to continue after one year. I've read that the global average weaning age is four years, which means that in other parts of the world they extend WAY past what we do here.