I just finished my first book of 2011, a book called Room by Emma Donoghue. I appreciate books that disturb. Some books lead you down a dark trail, but manage to make everything sunshine and rainbows by the end as if every story has a happy ending. Other books just delve into depravity and offer no signs of redemption to bring value to the story. I hate both of these types of books.
In Room, Donoghue avoids both of these traps. By this point, you may have a clue about the plot of this story, but if you don't, I would prefer not to ruin the experience for you. Often while reading this book I teetered between hopefulness that something good could come out of this and fear that the end would be tragic. At times I even felt a sense of guilt, feeling that the author had gone too far in inviting the reader into this depraved situation.
Usually I would only find value in a book like this if some sort of redemption plays out by the end, but even that is a little ambiguous. What I truly appreciate from this book is the view of how resilient the human psyche can be and the question of how we create reality from the circumstances of our environment.
I actually finished the book and began this post two weeks ago, but the impact of this book cannot be truly appreciated in just a few days. I'm sure that I'll be processing this one for quite some time.