Q & A with Emma Donoghue discussion

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Spoiler-free Discussion of Room

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message 1: by Emma (new)

Emma Donoghue | 133 comments Mod
This is a thread to ask questions or make comments about Room that do no spoil events in the second half of the book.


message 2: by Linda (new)

Linda | 5 comments I was creeped out when I first started reading this book. I'm glad I stuck with it because actions became more clear as I read. I think the writing was wonderfully clever and the dialogue brilliant. Keep writing Ms. Donoghue! Best regards, Linda/Orange,CT


message 3: by Diane (new)

Diane  (dianedj) | 3 comments I loved the characters of Grandma and Steppa. I laughed out loud at some of Grandma's experiences. They were charming, and so wonderful with Jack, each in their own very different way.


message 4: by H.E. (new)

H.E. Saunders (hesaunders) | 3 comments I think a large part of this book's success is your choice of Jack as narrator. It provides a distance from the actual sexual abuse experience and horror of living in the kidnapped world that I think most readers require. I especially enjoy when Jack and Ma play "scream." It is lost on this young boy what the purpose is, but engages the reader in her daily torture from a more comfortable perspective. Did you decide to narrate through Jack's POV initially or did it happen organically as you progressed through the story?


message 5: by Linda (new)

Linda | 5 comments Where is Ms. Donoghue??


message 6: by Melissa (new)

Melissa I believe she said she'd be back on the thread on March 21st...


message 7: by Linda (new)

Linda | 5 comments oh, thanks.


message 8: by Melissa (new)

Melissa sure thing


message 9: by Kewannah (new)

Kewannah | 6 comments Why is Jack's grammar so terrible? He knows certain complex words and not others. His ma, though she seems educated rarely corrects him yet practices word games and reading with him extensively. It's making reading this book a challenge.

Also, why does Ma's plans in part 1 to save them include only ways that could potentially harm Jack (who is quite clearly not ready)?


message 10: by Linda (new)

Linda | 5 comments I think that answering these questions, especially the second, would spoil it for some.


message 11: by Kewannah (new)

Kewannah | 6 comments Linda wrote: "I think that answering these questions, especially the second, would spoil it for some."

I'm still in part 1 (around page 150) so I genuinely don't know.


message 12: by Debbie (new)

Debbie | 1 comments I agree with the comment about Jack's grammar - it did not make sense to me that he knew complex words i.e. ludicrous, but did not speak grammatically well sometimes. I enjoyed the book - in fact I selected your novel for my book group which is meeting tomorrow night. Wish that was March 21st!


message 13: by Daria (new)

Daria (dariah) | 5 comments H.E. wrote: "I think a large part of this book's success is your choice of Jack as narrator. It provides a distance from the actual sexual abuse experience and horror of living in the kidnapped world that I thi..."

I was nervous about reading the book until a friend siad what you have here-that the choice of a five year old narrator removes some of the horror of the situation and makes the book more palatable. I am very glad I stuck with it. I was so proud of Ma that she had the scream game and protected Jack from it's true purpose, but that part of the book made me so sad.


message 14: by Daria (new)

Daria (dariah) | 5 comments Kewannah wrote: "Why is Jack's grammar so terrible? He knows certain complex words and not others. His ma, though she seems educated rarely corrects him yet practices word games and reading with him extensively. It..."

As to your first comment, I also found it illogical that Jack would have such bad grammar considering all the work his mother was doing to educate him.


message 15: by Emma (new)

Emma Donoghue | 133 comments Mod
Daria wrote: "Kewannah wrote: "Why is Jack's grammar so terrible? He knows certain complex words and not others. His ma, though she seems educated rarely corrects him yet practices word games and reading with hi..."

I've given a fuller answer to this one on another thread, but basically: my experience of my own son (five when I was writing the novel) as well as other children is that they consistently speak inconsistently; that they do not stick to level of sophistication in speech (as in those chapter books that are aimed at one reading level), but pepper their conversation with the fanciest words they know even when they have not yet mastered the past tense.


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