This months Left to Write book club book was Room by Emma Donaghue. It’s a haunting tale told from the point of view of a five year old boy who is raised by his mother in small room/shed cut off from the outside world because they’re being held captive.

This book was so sad and disturbing to me because though it’s technically fiction, for me all I could think about was Jaycee Dugard and watching the almost exact same thing unfold in this book as I watched unfold in reality on TV almost exactly one year ago only 30 minutes from where I sit writing this post as my children sleep safe and sound upstairs in their beds.

It was hard not to constantly think of Jaycee Dugard as I read this book and wonder how far her and her girls have been able to move on in the year since they were finally set free after being held captive for 18 years. Jaycee Dugard is only a year younger than me. She was 11 when she was kidnapped from her South Lake Tahoe home. I was 12.

After finishing Room (in one sitting) I sat quietly and thought about Jaycee Dugard. I though about all the things I did in those 18 years. I had my first kiss, started high school, went to dances, hung out with my friends, crammed for finals, got my drivers license, graduated, met my husband got married and had babies. I was even a DJ in Modesto for a time not far from where Jaycee was living out her nightmare.

It’s hard to imagine how someone survives an ordeal like being held hostage for 18 years and comes out of the other side.

I guess that’s what I got out of this book more than anything is that we really can survive and even escape from the most horrific of circumstances. And we can parent under the worst of conditions and still manage to raise a decent child.

I was given a free copy of Room to read but was not obligated to write about it or compensated in any way.


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. kroliklinsey
    Sep 27, 2010 @ 08:26:44

    Yes, although fiction, people are kidnapped in real life. I thought about how horrible it would be to make it through 19 years of parenting and keeping your child “safe” and then to have that child taken out of the blue in college. Of course, the grandmother in this book didn’t know what had happened to her child. Having children in captivity only adds to this drama. I agree – I wonder about how Jaycee and her girls have adjusted. I found a recent article in People about her:,,20416113,00.html


  2. Trackback: ROOM by Emma Donoghue – A From Left to Write Book Club |
  3. mastermindmommy
    Sep 29, 2010 @ 19:29:22

    I agree. As I read the book, I also thought about Jaycee Dugard and how awful it must have been for her. Ma and Jack were only held for five (seven) years, but 18?? It must have been horrific. I don’t understand how people can be so sick to do something like this. Nicely written.


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