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Group Read Discussions > Room (Spoilers)

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message 1: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10060 comments Mod
Go ahead, ruin it for me. That's half the fun!


message 2: by Danie (new)

Danie (heyydanie) I just read this recently. I was honestly really disappointed in the ending. After the whole set up with Jack and all they went through in order to get out of Room, and then the story just kind of died out. It was almost like the writer went "alright, I'm bored with this story" and ended it just to end it.


message 3: by Dani (new)

Dani (The Pluviophile Writer) (pluviophilewriter) | 237 comments What an intriguing and fascinating book! There are so many mixed reviews on this book that I went into this book on pretty neutral terms. I found the first couple of chapters a little bit slow but the climax and dénouement were phenomenal.

I think that Donoghue did a pretty good job of narrating the whole book through the mind a five year old even though there were times when I thought that Jack either knew more than what I thought I five year old would know or a lot less, in saying that I don't think anyone really remembers what it's like to be that age so I have to Donoghue credit for accomplishing that.

I think the one thing that frustrated me the most about this novel was that I was more interested in what was going on in Ma's head and her struggles than I was about Jack's for the most part. I wonder what this book would have been like if it had alternating chapters in which Ma and Jack both narrate that way Ma's internal struggles are revealed as well as Jack's. I guess Ma's struggles are something I can imagine, that I can empathize with knowing what I would feel if I were in her shoes. Overall though this book caught me by surprise and ended up being so different from what I thought it was going to be.


message 4: by Niamh (new)

Niamh (niamhc) | 1 comments I really think your idea of alternating chapters between Ma and Jack is a good one. There were a few times in the book where i wanted to know what was going through Ma's head that Jack's voice couldn't explain and i think it would have added a lot to the book. I also agree about the ending i felt that it just seemed to die out in the end and i thought it became depressing! Overall i did enjoy the book but i enjoyed the first part more so than the second.


message 5: by Kristi (new)

Kristi (kristicasey) Okay, I read this book a bit ago, so I had to go back to my review to refresh my memory.

A side note: I really need to spell/grammar check myself more often. LOL. What was I thinking when I clicked save?

I did find Jack's voice annoying at times. I also felt that he was not 100% believable as a 5yo. However, he was in captivity and kids are more perceptive than we give them credit for sometimes.

I did have some other issues with Jack, bc as a mom I wouldn't have allowed my 5yo to talk the way he did. Then again, I was not held captive either.

One frustration I had was why weren't we ever told Mom's name? Jack got to here it once, why couldn't we? (Now I sound like a child-lol)

Overall, it was kind of creepy. It almost reminded me of the news stories where that girl was found in the backyard, and no one seemed to know she had been there all those years.

I think the overall pull of this story is the thoughts it creates after you're done reading it. At least, for me that's how it was.


message 6: by Dee (new)

Dee (austhokie) | 616 comments i need to listen to this - its next on the audio pile...I find it interesting what you just said about mom's name...I recently read another book The Housekeeper and the Professor where you never found out the names of either of them...they were just referred to as the Professor, or the woman who comes to clean his house (he had a form of amnesia where his memory re-set every 90 minutes - I think)


message 7: by Kristi (new)

Kristi (kristicasey) Idk why it bothered me. It wasn't vital, I just wanted to know. lol.


message 8: by Dee (new)

Dee (austhokie) | 616 comments possibly, and this is me thinking back to my cognitive psych classes, the removal of the name, or non-use of a name attempts to dehumanize her...which without having read it, seems like that could be a key theme...


message 9: by Kristi (new)

Kristi (kristicasey) possibly.


message 10: by Dee (new)

Dee (austhokie) | 616 comments ok, now I need to listen to it...haha! I have about 3 hours of the audiobook that i'm listening to right now and then Room is next on the pile


message 11: by Kristi (new)

Kristi (kristicasey) Hope you enjoy it!


message 12: by Dee (new)

Dee (austhokie) | 616 comments me too...i have the audiobook to listen to since i'm travelling this next week - the sample intrigued me because of the voice of Jack


message 13: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10060 comments Mod
What do you guys think of the breastfeeding? I loved this novel from beginning to end, but the breastfeeding bothered me the entire way through...


message 14: by Kristina Marie (new)

Kristina Marie I read this in January and there are two things that still bother me about it. First is how Ma and Jack were rescued. It was just a little too easy and then I thought that Old Nick running off was pretty out of character. The other thing that I didn't get was how Ma's relatives were completely clueless how to handle Jack, except for Steppa. I expected more out of this book.

The breastfeeding didn't bother me. It was one of the only things she could control and one of the only things she could give her son.


message 15: by Danie (new)

Danie (heyydanie) Lori wrote: "What do you guys think of the breastfeeding? I loved this novel from beginning to end, but the breastfeeding bothered me the entire way through..."

I have mixed feelings on this. I agree with what Kristina Marie said, about it being the only thing Ma could control, without having to depend on Old Nick.

That being said, it was a little disturbing. Jack was too old to still be doing it.


message 16: by Dani (new)

Dani (The Pluviophile Writer) (pluviophilewriter) | 237 comments Lori, the breastfeeding bothered me too but I think what bothered me more is that after Ma and Jack were free that was an area that the media and others decided to judge her on. Who are they to condemn the decisions that she made with her son? They couldn't even imagine the difficulty of her living in a shed being raped nightly by the man the keeps her there. While it is weird I think it was a comfort for both Jack and Ma.


message 17: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10060 comments Mod
I just had a really hard time believing that someone would continue to do that, even if it was a comfort and control thing.

What I think is amazing was the mothers ability to create a whole world out of that one tiny little room for her son. So full of things to keep him occupied that he didn't realize what he was missing out there.


message 18: by Dee (new)

Dee (austhokie) | 616 comments i'm not sure about the breast-feeding aspect yet, but i know there have been incidents that i've seen on the news where woman have continued to breast feed for several years. I'm also looking at it from the perspective that, from what i've heard so far, it doesn't seem like Old Nick provides them with a lot of food etc, so it could be her way of trying to make sure Jack stays healthy because of the antibodies and stuff that is in it...

I'm listening to the audio and really enjoying it so far...but I haven't picked up on Jack knowing more than he should - unless it changes, maybe its hearing it in his voice that makes it more believable


message 19: by Kristi (new)

Kristi (kristicasey) I don't know that I'd say Jack "knows more than he should". I just think, from my experience with my kids, that he's picking up on things that his mom is trying to shield him from.

Kids are much more perceptive to what's going on around them than we give them credit for. I can't tell you the number of times my kids made a comment that blew me away bc it meant they knew what I thought I was protecting them from.

I think there will be an impact for Jack when he's older and understand what exactly it was he was "witnessing".


message 20: by Claire (last edited Mar 11, 2011 05:17PM) (new)

Claire (clairebear8) | 513 comments I just finished reading Room and I really liked it but found it depressing in a way. I found it hard to put down. I got so fond of Jack's character and just wanted to hug him. I thought that his language could have been a little more grammatically correct in some instances (i.e. saying we hotted the food in the microwave, etc, etc). The reason I say this is because he had the t.v. to mimic and I assume his mother corrected him at times. Plus the books that she read to him and he could read. Little kids pick up language so easily and are like sponges. Of course, he didn't have other kids to talk to or other adults so maybe this is very realistic in a situation like this.

I thought the breastfeeding was a bit much as well but I can understand why she did it - mainly for the nutrition because it did sound like Old Nick almost starved them as a form of punishment.

I wondered also why she tried to commit suicide and leave her son. She was so fiercely protective of him that I was so surprised when that happened --- however, I'm sure she was suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome, depression, etc.

Over all I liked the book and I'm sure that the author must have consulted experts in these different areas, so I'm sure much of it is very realistic.


message 21: by Motheaten (new)

Motheaten I read the book a few weeks ago. There's something depressing about being captured in a room, then having escaped with a taste of freedom, only to be in captivity of society. Maybe that was the reason she tried commiting suicide. The freedom she long hoped for turned into a bit of an alienation; the media saw her as a sensation and her family will never trully understand her experience and connection with her son. That's my take anyway.


message 22: by Claire (new)

Claire (clairebear8) | 513 comments Thats a good thought, Motheaten. Never thought about it that way (about why Ma tried to kill herself). She was definitely a survivor, living in that room for as long as she did.


message 23: by Dee (new)

Dee (austhokie) | 616 comments i'm almost to the end - I think it part, she had also never really coped with being released...she was putting on a brave face for jack and the others, but she hadn't come to terms with it - so when everything came out on TV, it was like it crashing to reality and she lost it...essentially, though, Jack saved her life - if he hadn't come back when he did, who knows when she would have been found and if she would have still been alive (it sounded like it was touch and go for a while)


message 24: by Tabitha (new)

Tabitha Chapman | 3 comments I found this book especially interesting because I am in my mid twenties and have a young son. I know all of the struggles and worries that come along with raising a child and I cannot imagine doing it without help, let alone in the confines of a 11' x 11' room. I found "Ma" incredibly strong, intelligent, and creative in all aspects with Jack. With that in mind, I didn't quite understand the suicide attempt either and some insight of her point of view would have been beneficial. Perhaps it was the resurfacing of all the old trauma, especially the loss of her daughter that finally pushed her over the edge. I also think her father's absence and then him not accepting Jack hurt her more than we could see through Jack's eyes. Overall, it was a good read and think the author did a great job writing from the perspective of a sheltered 5 year old.


message 25: by Christy (new)

Christy | 181 comments I read this about a month ago and really loved it at the time, but now I don't really know why?? Looking back and thinking about the story and the characters I don't feel any real connection at all. I'm not going to change my review or rating, but I haven't really had this happen before where I feel so differently about a book after some time has passed. If anything, I usually am too sentimental about books I have loved and think more highly of them than I probably should.


message 26: by Dee (new)

Dee (austhokie) | 616 comments ok, finished up the audiobook on the way home - i'm glad i did it that way, because i don't know if i could have completely put myself into jack's shoes reading it - but with the voice of a 5 year old reading it, i was able to. I liked the ending, because I felt like they got the closure they needed (visiting room after being on the outside)...would have maybe liked an epilogue, something a few years down the track, or even a couple of months...but overall really enjoyed it - probably would give it 4 stars


message 27: by Kristi (new)

Kristi (kristicasey) I didn't question her suicide attempt, but I understood...not the desire to die, but just being so tired of coping with it all. To desperately need an escape from it all.

This is the best comparison I can give. Being a military spouse, I've dealt with my husband being gone for long times and frequently. During that time, you fear for his life, you stress over your work/house/kids/school, etc. You keep your chin up for your children, you network with other spouses, basically you live the life you're dealt.

I love my children, but there are days you just don't feel as if you can possibly do anymore. You're mentally, emotionally, and physically drained. You want to just hide, and no longer deal with what's next.

Maybe she didn't feel as if she could cope, or that she had protected Jack and got him out, so her duty was done and she just didn't want to have to deal with it still. (Media wouldn't let her alone to move past it).

Again that's just my understanding of it.


message 28: by Jane (new)

Jane | 221 comments I'm wondering if the constant bombardment of all the feelings and events after all those years in captivity was so overwhelming that that contributed to her suicide attempt.


message 29: by Claire (new)

Claire (clairebear8) | 513 comments Yep and plus just the trauma of being raped by that sicko, Old Nick. I was wondering if they were going to mention the Stockholm Syndrome in the book and I believe they did during the media interview. Fortunately, Ma wasn't "infected" with that syndrome or they may never have escaped.


message 30: by Brenda (new)

Brenda | 266 comments I really wanted to like this novel but I did not enjoy it at all. I did not like the 5 yr old narrator. His speech felt too contrived. He seemed too precocious. The story was depressing and dreary.
The escape seemed unrealistic. The book did get better by the second half but by then I just didn't care for the story any more.


message 31: by Courtney (new)

Courtney I loved this novel. I read it a while ago but it was amazing and it's definitely one of those books that stick with you. For me, one of the most interesting parts was when they escape the room and all the things the little boy can't do like see far distances etc.. it was really captivating.


Jessica Pendergrass | 3 comments Yeah, I felt this same way. I didn't feel like there was closure at the end and I kind of needed that with this book.

Danie wrote: "I just read this recently. I was honestly really disappointed in the ending. After the whole set up with Jack and all they went through in order to get out of Room, and then the story just kind of ..."


message 33: by Jane (new)

Jane | 221 comments Maybe it wasn't the end but the beginning. Jack and his Mom now are starting a new life. We miss closure but for the characters it wasn't the end. Does that make sense?


message 34: by Kristi (new)

Kristi (kristicasey) Jane, I think it makes perfect sense.


message 35: by Donna (new)

Donna (dfiggz) | 1626 comments I really didn't get allt he hype with this book. I twas a fast read and it was entertaining but I didn't "love" it.


message 36: by Dee (new)

Dee (austhokie) | 616 comments see, I felt that them visiting room and jack seeing how small it really was, was closure in a way...because he knew now that it wasn't all about room, but that there was a huge world out there that he still had to experience...at every end is a new beginning...like Jane said


message 37: by Donna (new)

Donna (dfiggz) | 1626 comments It was definitely closure and totally began a new and exciting life for him. It must have been hardest for her not to be able to explain it to him whil ethey were there.


message 38: by Carly (new)

Carly Svamvour (faganlady) | 220 comments I have never found a book where the POV comes from a small child and the dialogue is realistic. Maybe there is a book where it happens, but I haven't found it yet.

The only kind of book where it might be interesting would be one that is actually written by a child - maybe an eleven-year-old could write like that.

The breastfeeding - yeah - strange, but I guess it happens. I know a mother who allowed her child to continue feeding from the breast from time to time - just as a treat. The child did it till she was about 4. Maybe even longer - dunno'.

People find this strange - specially my kids - when I tell them I never breastfed either of my girls. Just didn't want to do it.

Society seems to go through stages where in one span of years it's a thing that's popular, then in another span of years, it is not done a lot.

When I had my kids was the seventies - some were breastfeeding - some were not.

I'm amazed how much of this I've read - I picked up my book from the library around 6:30 pm - we went out for coffee - while Jeff went into the store to get our cigs, then into the supermarket to get bread, milk, etc., I read in the car.

Then read some at Country Style Donuts and on the way home. It is now 8:15 - I have read 84 pages!

I have an audio version ordered from the library but I doubt it will be coming that fast.

It is indeed a good story - as good as it was cracked up to be.


message 39: by Carly (new)

Carly Svamvour (faganlady) | 220 comments Now - can anybody answer this question ... and don't worry about spoiling it for me - I wanna' know:

WHY?

WHY?

WHY?

Why are they prisoners to that room?


message 40: by Dee (new)

Dee (austhokie) | 616 comments she was kidnapped by old nick and was basically being held hostage by him...IIRC she was in college when it happened and was walking home one night


message 41: by Carly (new)

Carly Svamvour (faganlady) | 220 comments Thanks, Delicious ... yeah - I know now.

It's 9 pm - I'm nearly halfway through the book.

When she's having Jack pretend he's dead inside the rug - geesh!

Ohhhh ... I hope this Nick guy dies slow!


message 42: by Kristi (new)

Kristi (kristicasey) What was creepiest for me was the release timeframe. All I kept thinking of was Jaycee Dugard.


message 43: by Carly (new)

Carly Svamvour (faganlady) | 220 comments I finished up yesterday.

I gave this book a 'five'. The only thing I would have liked to see was Old Nick's time in court and being brought to justice.

But I guess that's for another story.


message 44: by Kristi (new)

Kristi (kristicasey) Carly wrote: "I finished up yesterday.

I gave this book a 'five'. The only thing I would have liked to see was Old Nick's time in court and being brought to justice.

But I guess that's for another story."


Good point!


message 45: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10060 comments Mod
Have you seen the movie trailer for ROOM? What do you think of the changes to it?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e1mNX...


message 46: by Ethan (new)

Ethan | 1260 comments Wow I'm excited for this! I didn't even realize they were making a movie. It should be an interesting contrast to the book now that the child is a girl.


message 47: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10060 comments Mod
Not only because it's now a girl, but also because it's not told from the child's perspective, either.


message 48: by Kandice (new)

Kandice I think it looks amazing! Although it does seem they will devote more time to the real world than the novel did.

I only stumbled upon this thread today. but those of you that questioned her suicide attempt - I think she had gotten her son out and now the world could protect him. She was depressed, in shock, worn out. I don't think a suicide attempt at that point was unrealistic at all.


message 49: by Ethan (new)

Ethan | 1260 comments Lori wrote: "Not only because it's now a girl, but also because it's not told from the child's perspective, either."

True! It seems that the movie may become much more about the mother than the book was.


message 50: by Dee (new)

Dee (austhokie) | 616 comments i'm intrigued, but probably won't go to the theatre...i'm wondering if some of the changes (girl etc) were tied to scenes in the movie that showed in the preview (them in the bathtub) and sharing a bed...i could imagine some uproar over that if it were to be a male child..


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