Review: Room by Emma Donoghue


by Emma Donoghue

Jack is now five, and excited about his birthday. He lives with his Ma in Room, which has a locked door and a skylight, and measures eleven feet by eleven feet. He loves watching TV, and the cartoon characters he calls friends, but he knows that nothing he sees on screen is truly real – only him, Ma and the things in the Room. Until the day Ma admits that there’s a world outside…

Told in Jack’s voice, Room is the story of a mother and son whose love lets them survive the impossible. Unsentimental and sometimes funny, devastating yet uplifting, Room is a novel like no other.

Wow, is all I can say about this book, it is one of the most amazing books that I have ever read. It tells the story of ‘Ma’, Jack’s mum, who was kidnapped when she was 19 and then held hostage in a sound proof, escape proof prison called Room, which measures eleven feet by eleven feet. She has Jack in Room and the only company they have apart from each other are Lamp, Wardrobe, Bed, Plant, Table etc, oh, and of course ‘Old Nick’ who visits in the night.

What makes this book so compelling is that this book is entirely written in Jack’s voice, his innocence and acceptance of the situation he is born into is amazing. The book starts at his 5th birthday and continues on for about a month or two. It’s hard to talk more about the details of the story as it will end up giving too much away. But I could easily claim that this is one of the best books I have read, I finished it in 2 sittings, and didn’t want to put it down once I started it. It is an emotional and compelling story that will stay with you for a long time. Ultimately it is a story of love and what a mother is prepared to risk in order to protect her son, and how routine (no matter how strange) can keep us grounded and feeling stable. 

Recommended Retail Price $32.95

Published by: Picador (Pan Macmillan)

Recommended Age: 18+

My Rating: 6/5 Highly Recommended.


3 Responses to Review: Room by Emma Donoghue

  1. Marg says:

    6/5! that’s quite the recommendation in itself!

  2. There’s just nothing that I can can fault the book on, to me it’s a must read.

  3. Canada says:

    This is an amazing story. It took a lot of guts to write from the perspective of a child, and the author pulled it off meticulously. The reader feels the emotions of Jack and his mother through the eyes of a 5 year old.
    Of course the book is a bit disturbing. That is what makes it an amazing book. It smacks you in the face with the scary underbelly of parts of our society, and makes you grapple with the reality that this kind of thing exists. It is a book that you keep thinking about after you have put it down – if you can put it down. I kept finding myself obsessively anticipating what happened next.

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