Warning: You will not be able to focus on anything else while you’re reading this book.
Room by Emma Donoghue completely blew me away. I’m, like, three states over I’m so blown away. I’m taking the train back home tomorrow.
This book will transport you to a whole other dimension of existence. You will view the world with new appreciation. You will interact with objects differently for a few days, including your toothbrush. You will be challenged to rip your eyeballs away from this book long enough to do things like work and take a shower. And trust me, you will majorly appreciate that shower.
I can’t tell you what this book is about. My friend Sharyn told me what it was about, and while that made me dart right into Three Lives & Company and buy the book while she was still talking, it’s an even better reading experience if you don’t know in advance.
After you realize what’s happening, this map will help you. I wasn’t picturing Wardrobe right next to Bed. I thought he was on Dresser Wall.
The day I bought Room was one of those sweltering days during the hottest heat wave. I believe it was 103 degrees when Sharyn and I left the bookstore. We walked slowly and stopped at the corner to talk. We put our bags down on the sidewalk. Mine was a canvas bag that says Let the Sun Shine. Room was in my bag – I avoid taking extra plastic bags. Someone who worked at the restaurant we were standing in front of came out to water the plants that were sitting against the wall. Sharyn and I kept talking. She’s so interesting to talk to that I didn’t notice the water that was running out of the plant pots and flooding the sidewalk.
And soaking my bag.
Room was a soggy mess. Naturally, I was devastated. I already knew I’d fall in love with this book and now it was ruined. But here’s the thing. My bag got soaked for a reason. I mean, hello, we just happened to be standing on the sidewalk talking without walking (I’m all about the walk and talk) and someone happened to come out to water the plants right then and I just happened to put my bag down on the sidewalk, which I never do?
I don’t think so.
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know that this is a classic non-coincidence. I developed the concept of non-coincidences from a quote I used in Something Like Fate by David Life: “If you believe in coincidence, then you aren’t paying attention.” Given what Room is about, a destroyed book and whatever other stuff got wet was just not a big deal. Sometimes I take a little annoyance and blow it up to epic proportions. Not cool. Room is a reality check. It puts things in perspective. After reading it, I was even thankful for the line at the post office because it meant I had the freedom to actually go to the post office.
Of course I went back to the bookstore to buy another copy of Room. The first one never dried out. And P.S.? The only copy they had left was the one I avoided getting the first time because there was a little ink smudge on the back.
Now that ink smudge makes me smile.