Thursday, January 06, 2011

A confession

You know I said last week that I like to spend the time between Christmas and New Year doing a lot of thinking? It was true – that is what I like to do. However, last week I was captured by a book someone gave me for Christmas, with the result that I didn’t do an awful lot of thinking apart from about that book.

It wasn’t that I was gripped by it, I was consumed by it. When I wasn’t reading about it I was thinking about it. I can’t remember the last time a novel had that kind of effect on me. It had such a powerful effect that it didn’t hit me until three quarters of the way through that it was narrated in the first person and present tense, which is a style I usually loathe.

The book was Room, by Emma Donoghue. If you look at the blurb about it you might think it is dark and gruesome and miserable. But it isn’t at all. I wouldn’t read it if it was: I couldn’t bear to. The thing I am left with a week later is the deep love between a mother and a young son, and a woman who gives her son an exemplary life in the tightest of circumstances.

I’m not going to say “You must read it,” because I HATE it when people say that to me. I just wanted to tell you about it.

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