Books with your Barista
by Jared A. Conti
A Room with a View
Mysterious book leaves reader with more questions than answers
Room is one of those books that come along once in awhile where you can’t help but stay up late into the wee hours of the morning because you’re unable to put it down to see where it leads you.
I’d heard an interview with author Emma Donoghue ages ago on NPR, but it had completely fallen off my radar. I was happy to lay eyes on it again in the glorious sea that is the AAUW booksale.
This adult novel sings with originality as we’re told a story of a five-year-old Jack and his mother. Their lives consist of just this one room, Room, and everything contained therein. This bristles in mystery as the majority of objects they come in contact with in Room—Stove, Skylight, Bath, Outside—are all mentioned as proper nouns.
As Jack learns after the meager celebration that is his fifth birthday, things are not always what they seem. Parents often keep things hidden from their children and the meanings of such stories they are told have more sinister motives. Apparently locked in Room, nightly visits by Old Nick parcel out more and more about the state they are in reach disturbing conclusions.
Once Jack and mother escape Room to Outside, the story takes off on an entirely different perspective as family is introduced to Outside and that which he has never before been introduced. A previous world known only as Television showing different “planets” become real, and the addition of new people into their familial unit gives much to think about in regards to child rearing, the media and where hard circumstances take us in life.
Once pieces start falling in place, Room begins to build itself into the fabric of your thoughts, peopling itself with ideas once held dear, haunting you for long after you’re done reading. Three distinct stages of Room’s story conclude satisfyingly with lives that cope with others’ decisions on what living really means.
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Jared A. Conti is a local writer, blogger and Lock Haven University graduate who spends his work time as a barista at Avenue 209 Coffee House. He would love to hear your suggestions on great books, movies or comics to review. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.