Room by Emma Donoghue

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Genre: General Fiction
Synopsis: 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.
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.

Rating: 4 stars

Review: Loosely based off of the kidnapping of Fritzl from Austria, and of Jaycee Lee Dugard's in California, Room digs deep into that kind of unfamiliar and horrific world of captivity and abuse. Just the courage to write about something like that, I give it 4 stars. And I have to say I loved, loved, loved this book. It truly made me think and feel for these characters and the situation they were in. At times, it was a little difficult to read, given the subject matter, yet I think the author was able to brighten it up by showing how incredibly strong the bond is of the mother and her child.

Now this book isn't perfect; I did have some problems with the narration. At times, I just didn't believe that it was a 5-year-old's voice that we're reading about anymore, but an author's, attempting to write in a voice of someone else. Sometimes, I could tell that it was an adult's voice, and I really didn't like that. However, for the most part, she did do such a great job capturing the mind of a child, especially its naivety and innocence.

While I can see how Room is not for everyone, I still think it is a great read. It is a chilling and heartbreaking story told with strength, compassion, and sensitivity. I highly recommend this novel as I think everyone should give it a try and see what they think of it.


  1. I'm so glad that you reviewed this! I've been curious about it for a while, but I've been pretty neutral about whether I wanted to read it. You've cleared that up for me--it's been added to the ole TBR!

  2. It sounds great. Different. Might pick it up if I see it :)

  3. I see this everywhere! I really need to read this. I can see where you're coming from with the voice staying authentic as that would be incredibly challenging to keep believable.