24.8.11

Emma Donoghue- Slammerkin And Room



Many years ago I read Emma Donoghue's book Slammerkin.  A historical fiction novel it is based on a murder which took place in 1763 in the Welsh countryside.  Slammerkin, a word used to describe a 'loose woman', follows the life of a young woman who raised in poverty ultimately makes a living as a prostitute.
Although the book follows a storyline that feels familiar, I found that Ms. Donoghue's writing is vivid and unique enough that almost ten years later I am able to remember specifics about the story and characters.  I found this novel to be not unlike that of another favorite Canadian author of mine, Alias Grace by Margret Atwood.  Slammerkin can be raunchy at times.  The life of a prostitute is painful both literally and figuratively.  The character sustains gang rape and gonorrhea both of which are described in painful details.  

I've recently heard a lot of buzz about Room- Ms. Donoghue's latest novel.  I have seen people reading it everywhere in libraries, airports, pools and beaches.  My MIL bough me a copy of this novel and I read it over the course of two days.  Told from the perspective of a five year old it tells the story of a mother and son.  The story reminds me of Plato's Allegory of The Cave in which people take something which is illusion, as real- if they know no other way.  As a mother I found this story to be fascinating in terms of the education we provide for our children and doing the best with the resources we have.  

Emma Donoghue was born and raised in Ireland however resides in London, Ontario where Dr J and I both completed our undergraduate studies.  She lives with her husband and two children and has an impressive biography.  

11 comments:

stephanie said...

I recently read Room. Now I can't stop saying that I have dinner hotted up.

Part of me thinks it would make a really good companion book if she wrote another version from the mom's perspective.

dotblogg said...

the books sound great! I love M.Atwood's novels so I'll look for these books on shelves in bookstores:) Ren! I made garlic bread spread inspired by your old post!:) It's tasty!:))
hugs!
J.

jeanette from everton terrace said...

Oh I just started a new book this morning. Am quite intrigued by both. My mother is from England and her mother was Irish and her father's family Welsh. We were just talking the other day about how the Irish a such fabulous story tellers and the Welsh are the singers. Not sure where that leaves the English These are my thoughts because of your note about the author :)

Kellys Art Journaling/ Sharing The Journey said...

Thanks for sharing the names of these novels. I am rathe interested in the one called "Room". I might check it out on my Kobo. Thanks for sharing.
Hugs and blessings.
Kelly

Claire Kiefer said...

Man, I have been hearing about Room ALL OVER the place! It's on my ever-growing list.

a new girl in vienna said...

sounds like an interesting read. i haven't read either of her books you mention.
however, i have read alias grace and i LOVE it!

la petite coquine said...

I haven't heard of either of these reads, but they both sound fantastic-going on my must read list!

drollgirl said...

i read that book "room" and i pretty much hated it. i gave it a big fat "F". but i guess it is better to love or hate a book than be "so-so" on it.

Faiza said...

Room was our book club pick for this month. I'm still thinking about it. I want to read about Jack again ten years from now and see what has become of him and his mother...

ilovemyhouse said...

Its good te be back. Thnks for your comment. Just read your last post about mussels. We did the same thing as you did in Cape Breton years ago with the children. iloveiloveilove mussels. Cook them with water,white wine, leek, onion and carrots. Ad some cream at the last moemnt. Its the French way. I ate a lot of mussels (moule et frites) in France this summer. Richard is allergic so i take my chnace when i can.
Thanks again darling, good to see everything is alright at your side of the ocean. xx

Arnab Majumdar said...

For somewhat obvious reasons, the book review reminded me of Paulo Coelho's 'Eleven Minutes' and Khushwant Singh's 'Delhi: A Novel.' I'm intruiged now, to pick up these two books...

Cheers,
Arnab Majumdar on SribbleFest.com

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