Friday, October 15, 2010

Room - Emma Donoghue

Also reviewed by Mindy.

Summary: To five-year-old Jack, Room is the entire world. It is where he was born and grew up; it's where he lives with his Ma as they learn and read and eat and sleep and play. At night, his Ma shuts him safely in the wardrobe, where he is meant to be asleep when Old Nick visits.

Room is home to Jack, but to Ma, it is the prison where Old Nick has held her captive for seven years. Through determination, ingenuity, and fierce motherly love, Ma has created a life for Jack. But she knows it's not enough...not for her or for him. She devises a bold escape plan, one that relies on her young son's bravery and a lot of luck. What she does not realize is just how unprepared she is for the plan to actually work.

Told entirely in the language of the energetic, pragmatic five-year-old Jack, ROOM is a celebration of resilience and the limitless bond between parent and child, a brilliantly executed novel about what it means to journey from one world to another.  Summary and cover image from

My Review: Upon opening this book you are thrust into the world of a five-year-old. Jack narrates this story through the eyes of an innocent child. At first it is a struggle to get into character but within a few pages the transport from adulthood back to childhood is complete. It must be quite a challenge to write from this perspective, yet Donoghue masters it flawlessly.

Jack is an energetic, inquisitive and creative five-year-old. Other than being particularly bright, he is the average child. Yet his surroundings are anything but typical. Jack and his mother live locked within a 12 by 12 foot room. Knowing no different, Jack is quite content in his singular world with his mother, a small television, his snake friend made from egg shells and his Sunday treats. His mother, however, knows Room to be a life-draining prison, one they must escape before it smothers them both.

This powerful novel is at once absolutely appalling and undeniably beautiful. This is an all-consuming book which begs to be read in a single sitting. Jack's innocence is presented with bits of humor and heartache. His mother's battle between doing right by her son and her need for freedom will capture the hearts of readers. Her struggle to remain courageous while being absolutely powerless perfectly displays the undeniable bond between a mother and her child. Book clubs take note this is a story that demands to be discussed.

*See the room and hear Jack's voice at, a very cool addition to the book that puts it all into perspective

My Rating: 5 Stars, though the nature of the story is rather dark there are really no details into the terrifying events and, other than a choice word or two, this book is clean.

To sum it up: A tender and horrific tale told in the most unique voice.


Anonymous said...

This is an interesting concept for a book. After reading the summary - I think the concept for the book cover is equally awesome. I don't usually read fiction but I think I may want to pick this one up

Gerbera Daisy Diaries said...

the second 5 star rating in two days...must start trying to convince myself to read this. Just can't get over the premise.

martine said...

This was the book on the Booker list that really appealed to me, it sounds fascinating and an unusual read. thanks for your review

Amy said...

This was a hard book to read, but I did end up enjoying it.


Related Posts with Thumbnails