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Join EMMA DONOGHUE to talk about the Booker-shortlisted ROOM - our February Book of the Month - on Weds 16 February, 8-9pm

(257 Posts)
TillyBookClub Mon 17-Jan-11 11:49:00

Our February Book of the Month shot to international bestsellerdom as soon as it was published in August 2010. ROOM by Emma Donoghue has been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and won the Hughes & Hughes Irish Novel of the Year. It has also been a finalist for International Author of the Year (Galaxy National Book Awards). 

We've also got a very special giveaway this month - the extremely generous Picador peeps are giving Mumsnetters 500 exclusive free copies of ROOM so quickly head to Picador's website to claim yours before they all get snatched up. There's also a taster chapter and interviews to whet your appetite.

We are delighted that Emma will be joining us on Wednesday February 16, 8-9 pm for the bookclub discussion - look forward to seeing you all there...

And you can read further interviews, watch trailers and get all the reviews for ROOM at Emma's website or you can also read the Booker Prize website's interview with Emma to find out more

KatharineClifton Wed 02-Nov-11 11:47:57

Bump ;)

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 17-Feb-11 22:20:45

If you've not yet read the book, or want to buy a copy for a friend, Picador have joined up with to offer a last half-price offer - buy Room for just £3.99 incl. P + P - offer is open until 23rd Feb only so do spread the word.

Coca Thu 17-Feb-11 10:22:39

Arrghh! Missed the discussion yesterday.
I loved Room. This may seem bonkers but there were times when they were still in Room that I really envied Ma and Jack. Obviously I don't mean their captivity and the repeated rape but the bond they have, Ma's strength, Jack's innocence and the simple things that made Jack happy. It reminded me of some parts of my childhood when we were expats in a very poor country. My own Mother was also really resourceful with keeping us all entertained and stimulated. I envy that as I find it all too easy to pander to my dcs' advert driven demands for all manner of plastic crap. Funnily enough Mum was sometines Gone.

The book made me look at myself as a mother. I'm the coffe shop mum and my DH and I have a tendancy to be Paul and his wife. We argue over such trivial things without realising how stressful it must be for the dcs.

Thank you so much for the book, The characters were all so human, flawed but full of thier own strengh.

moodymama Thu 17-Feb-11 09:21:03

From the comments/reviews on Amazon about The Slap, I think I'll give it a miss.

kirriemummy Wed 16-Feb-11 22:38:20

Loved this book so much, but missed the discussion unfortunately!

I've read the discussion through now and thought that the questions and answers were exactly what I would have asked - so thank you everyone! I was particularly happy about the answers from Emma on why Ma was adopted and what she said about Steppa not wanting to make it a 'only women can parent' book, and championing the idea that the love and nurturing children is more important than traditional family roles.

I also thought that the person who said it seemed to be inspired by traditional fairy tales struck on a really interesting point.

I think that Ma is an absolutely inspiring character and it would do a lot of new mums much more good to read this rather than the umpteenth parenting guide sold to them!

I've handed my husband the book now, and am waiting for him to (slowly) read it before I can find out if it is more of a female or male book!

I admit I was desperate to read Room for about 6 months before I got it for christmas, and it lived up to my expectations - I'm feeling a bit less enthusiastic about the slap but this has been such a good experience this month I'll give it a go!

gailforce1 Wed 16-Feb-11 22:09:24

TILLY - The Slap is on my list of books to read so looking forward to it. Unfortunately I was out tonight but have read through the thread and agree that it was the best yet. I think that the book choices so far this year have been excellent so thank you!

elkiedee Wed 16-Feb-11 22:01:25

I had to go and settle my toddler in the middle of the discussion, but thanks for such an interesting one.

Tricky45 Wed 16-Feb-11 21:41:30

Ooh The Slap, excellent. I read it, cant wait for the chat on this one!!

Haribojoe Wed 16-Feb-11 21:36:39

The Slap is on my list of books to read, brilliant grin

deepdarkwood Wed 16-Feb-11 21:30:38

I forgot this and went for a run blush Thanks Emma - and thanks Tilly for reposting my questions so thoughtfully! Will defn suggest this to my RL bookgroup...

mychildrenarebarmy Wed 16-Feb-11 21:24:44

Oh phooey. I knew there was something I was planning to do tonight. I loved the book and wanted to join in with the discussion.

lockets Wed 16-Feb-11 21:23:44

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TillyBookClub Wed 16-Feb-11 21:21:33

cakeywakey, we have the highly controversial THE SLAP as our March Book of the Month - the thread and page will be live tomorrow morning. And the author, Christos Tsiolkas, will be joining us on Wednesday March 23 for the author chat.

Just want to say thanks to everyone here for a brilliant discussion night - the best yet, I think...

Also wondering who has given it to their husband/male friend/boyfirend and what was their reaction? Were they as affected by the relationship as you were? Is it quite a female read, do you think?

Haribojoe Wed 16-Feb-11 21:20:53

First time I have posted a question and read the live book discussion, really enjoyed it.

Thanks for a great read and interesting discussion.

Looking forward to the next one smile

cakeywakey Wed 16-Feb-11 21:16:01

Thanks Emma and thanks Tilly, great chat. What are we reading next?

lockets Wed 16-Feb-11 21:09:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Yesgotmyhandsfull Wed 16-Feb-11 21:09:00

I think she's an 'Ali'.

EmmaDonoghue Wed 16-Feb-11 21:08:57

This has been enormously satisfying, thanks everyone! Going to have dinner with two friends and their new baby now...
all the best and thanks so much for putting so much energy into reading and discussing my book!

pillowcase Wed 16-Feb-11 21:08:19

Great book!

Just wondering how long you lived with the idea of Room before you put pen to paper? And how long did it take you to write it?

EmmaDonoghue Wed 16-Feb-11 21:07:47


I'd like to know why we don't ever hear Ma's real name used? Jack can process other names but not his Ma's. Is it to show that he really cannot picture her except as a mother?

I loved it - one of those books where you want to carry on reading about the characters forever and feel so sad when it ends.

I loved Jack's attachment to Room in his memory as well.

Did Emma ever consider including a map of Room with the book?

There's a map/diagram on the US publishers website,

And as for why Ma never gets a name... I did really try to pick one for her, but none of them sounded right, and I finally realised that it's because Jack didn't want to say what it was, because to him she'll always be Ma.

lockets Wed 16-Feb-11 21:07:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

EmmaDonoghue Wed 16-Feb-11 21:06:01


With 2 children, how/when do you write?
Do you set yourself office hours?

My career absolutely depends on daycare. 9 to 3 Monday to Friday, and I treasure every minute of it!

TillyBookClub Wed 16-Feb-11 21:05:38

I can't believe we've come to 9pm already - it went like a flash...

Many apologies to those whose questions didn't get answered, it's been such a busy webchat this evening. And please do carry on chatting about the book on this thread.

Emma, thank you for a fascinating and hugely enjoyable evening, and for answering so many questions so speedily. Your book has been a stand-out, spectacular read for so many of us. Please do come back with your next book - we're all looking forward to whatever you do next immensely...

Many thanks again.

EmmaDonoghue Wed 16-Feb-11 21:04:43


Emma- why did you decide that Ma should try to take her own life in hospital? She always fought to protect Jack and then when they finally reached the 'outside' she was constantly trying to make him see how wonderful everything could be...

It's not just a cheap plot device (though of course it is handy for making Jack start growing up faster, a forced separation). It was based on my research into solitary confinement in US jails: very often there's a delayed, catastrophic breakdown, years later. I didn't want to underestimate Ma's pain but suggesting that she's just fine now; it made sense to me that she would let herself fall apart at the point when there are other people around to take care of Jack. It is hard for readers to forgive her, but I wanted to suggest that no mother is perfect after all...

BoffinMum Wed 16-Feb-11 21:03:50

I am intrigued to know what Ma would have done if he grew out of the wardrobe. But I have already asked a lot of questions.

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