Room by Emma Donoghue

Title: Room 
Author: Emma Donoghue
Genre: Fiction

When I first read the synopsis for this book I was worried that I might not enjoy reading a book told through the eyes of a five year old boy.  I felt that it was either going to come across  as too childish and possibly just annoy me, or he would come off as too mature for his age and therefore make it not credible enough for me.  I'm glad to report that I worried in vain.

Ms. Donoghue gives you the chilling tale of "Ma" - who has been held captive in a shack for seven years by her captor, Old Nick.  Jack, our narrator, and the young boy who just recently turned 5 years old,  has lived his whole life inside "Room".  Let me explain, everything in Jack's world (in this case Room), is a proper noun, thus he uses words like Room, Bed, Table, Floor, Chair, Wardrobe, TV, etc., to describe the items scattered throughout his world.  He's never seen the light of day and what he does know about the outside he learns through the TV and his Ma's stories.  

When Ma concocts a bold plan to break free from Old Nick, brave, little Jack, will have to rely on his bravery and hope that luck can help them escape.

I won't go too much into the storyline, because I feel that if you plan on reading  Room you should have limited knowledge of it (like I did) before you begin - this way you get more shock value as you read it.  What I will say is that Ms. Donoghue not only gives you an imaginative story but captures the love of a mother for her child so strongly that it will bring tears to your eyes.  Imagine living in a tiny room with nothing other than a bed, a bathroom, some household items and limited kitchen utensils.  Every Sunday Old Nick comes around (while Jack hides in his wardrobe) to visit Ma.  He knows to cover his eyes and ears until the bed stops creaking and Old Nick leaves. 

Considering the dark nature of this story - hearing it through Jack's eyes gives it a lighter feel.  Jack's voice was credible - his view of the world is unique and unforgettable.  His Ma was so resilient and fiercely protective of her child.  Her ability to teach Jack, keep him healthy, exercised, well-fed and dressed was so amazing to me.  You can't help but look up to her.  Her desperation to break free of that room and get back into the real world is painfully  felt - even though you only catch glimpses of it through Jack's eyes.  

All in all, this novel was superb.  It is thought-provoking, intense, emotional and powerful.  I can't recommend it enough.

My Rating:


Ryan said...

With every review I read, this book keeps going up in my eyes. I'm really wanting to read this one. Thanks for the review.

Lisa Miles said...

I read about this one in a magazine and look forward to reading it. Thanks for the great review!

Jenny said...

I loved this book too! The thing you said about it the mother/son relationship being so strong is so true. I found that to be one aspect of the book that was very well done!

La Coccinelle said...

I want to read this one!

Thanks for the non-spoilery review. :)

Missie, The Unread Reader said...

Nely! Wow! Just wow! I'm so glad you reviewed this book, if not, I would have had the same thoughts about it as you.

This sounds like a completely riveting read!

Chrystal said...

I saw this in a magazine article and my brother bought a copy for his girlfriend... so your review just added to me wanting to read this now.

Thanks for the great review... now on my wishlist.

Alyssa Kirk said...

Wow, this sounds powerful!

Teens Read and Write

Kailana said...

My review is actually set to go up in a few minutes for this book. I have to admit the young narrator bothered me at times, but not enough to take away from the overall enjoyment (for lack of a better word) of this book.

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