Books I've Read This Month
I've been dying to watch the film adaptation of Room for a while now but wanted to make sure I'd read the novel first. It's tells the fascinating story of 5 year-old Jack and his 'Ma', who was kidnapped and held captive 7 years earlier. The pair are confined to life in a small room, with Jack never having been made aware that a world exists beyond those four walls.
I found this one really difficult to put down, in fact I finished the whole book within a few days. The story is told from Jack's viewpoint and the way that it's written intentionally feels a little staggered, yet I was surprised to find that it didn't put me off in the slightest. One of the biggest stumbling blocks was that I really struggled to connect with the character of 'Ma' - a feeling that only really deepened as the book went on. I've still not gotten around to watching the film, but I'm fascinated to see whether I have that problem on screen, too.
The Book Thief
Narrated by death itself, The Book Thief tells the gripping story of 9 year old Leisel and her years spent living with foster parents in Nazi Germany. The novel begins in 1939 and documents the outbreak of the war, alongside the growing impact that it has on the quiet street that the family live on. Again, I just couldn't seem to put this one down and spent many late nights trying to convince myself to go to sleep after the next chapter.
I'd only ever heard positive things before I started reading this, so much so that I worried that my expectations would be set too high from the beginning. The Book Thief tells a story that is sure to stay with you long after you've finished reading and the way that it's written is incredibly clever, with hints and flashbacks littered throughout that keep you on your toes right until the end.
Of the three books that I read this month, this is the only one that I found myself really struggling to get into. It tells the story of an inmate awaiting his fate on death row and documents the lives of those around him, including fellow prisoners, lawyers and corrupt guards. Despite being significantly shorter than the other two on the list, The Enchanted took me the longest to get through - partly because I just wasn't itching to find out what happened next.
The Enchanted is a little gruesome in parts, but it's written incredibly well. Almost poetically. Still I just didn't find myself connecting with the story or any of the characters in it. Perhaps because it's such a short novel, I felt like we never really got to know anything real. In a lot of ways I feel like that's the point, the story is narrated by somebody behind bars so nothing is really supposed to happen, but there just wasn't enough substance to keep me hooked.