I like reading books about war dogs, shipwrecks, and lady aviators.
I don't know where to start other than... woah.
I read Frog Music months ago, and I'd been hearing lots of buzz about Room, but hadn't picked it up until a friend raved about it. This is such a heart wrenching and well crafted book. I was so surprised that the narration of a 5 year old landed as steady and true as this did. I kept waiting for the perspective to shift; I was sure the whole book couldn't be told by Jack. I was wrong and I was impressed.
The traumas that unfold in the book land both heavier and gentler through Jack's eyes. What Jack isn't capable of understanding, the limits of his tiny world are a stark reminder of how deep the abuse has run. What he values, how he perceives his life echo something bigger than love.
When the book shifts, not away from Jack but into a new world, I was waiting for the novel to lose something, to start reaching for a twee narrative of becoming better as a result of trauma. Again, I was wrong and I was impressed by what Donoghue did instead.
If you've been hearing about this book but haven't picked it up yet... I'm the friend telling you to hop to it!