Room by Emma Donoghue

5 Stars from Me

This is one of those books that I’ve been meaning to read for ages and I was thrilled to finally lay my hands upon a copy.

Room is an incredibly sweet tale told mostly with an air of untainted innocence (which is odd considering the circumstances of the Room and it’s occupants). Of course the flip-side would be to view the story through an incredibly dark lens of fear, rape, pain, deteriorating mental health, depravity and imprisonment but it is the beauty and love that comes across.

Pretty much a tale of two halves, the first of which immerses you in the mind of 5 year old Jack and his incredible mum who has found a way to make being prisoners in a tiny room into an acceptable, if not pleasurable, way of living. The second focuses on their rehabilitation following their escape and Jack’s difficulty with not being in Room with all his items of comfort.

This has all the makings of a book that will stand the test of time and should form part of English literature classes for it truly contains so much depth and magic within its pages. Question after question after question forms in your mind long after you finish the book and not all of the answers are comfortable ones.

I’d love to know what prompted Room in Emma Donoghue’s mind and how she was able to put together with such realism and yet such purity.

Synopsis: Jack is 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 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. 

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