BOOK REVIEW: Room by Emma Donoghue

Jack is five.
He lives in a single, locked room with his Ma. 

Publisher: Picador
Pages: 401

I didn't read this book when it was first published as I was a little put off by all the hype surrounding it. When I saw that a film had been made then I thought that I would give it a go and I can say unreservedly that it deserved all the hype and I feel a bit silly for not having read it at the time!
Emma Donoghue tells us the story of Jack, he is five and was born in a single, locked room where he has lived his whole life with his Ma. There have been quite a few cases in the news recently about women who have been kidnapped and lived for years in a single locked, sometimes also bearing children.
The book is told from five year old Jack's perspective and I think that the author gets language and attitude of a child just right. Jack's view of the world is limited to one, tiny room and his mother, everything he has and does it precious, he knows no other way of life.
Room gave me so much to think about, I obviously considered the terror and devastation of being held prisoner but it also made me think about the role of the parent. When children are very young we effectively decide for them what they experience and what they don't. The story made me think about the huge responsibility of that  and also how lucky I am that I can give my child many different experiences and opportunities where as many are not as fortunate.
The pace of the book is excellent, I devoured it in just one day as I didn't want to leave Jack and his mother in that room. I have no idea what the film will be like but I urge you to read this book if you haven't already. It has given me so much to think  about and will stay with me for a long time. 

1 comment:

Holly (2 Kids and Tired) said...

I have been wanting to read this, but was always hesitant. I haven't seen the film, but it's won major awards and is supposed to be fantastic. I think I definitely need to pick this one up. Awesome review.

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