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Room by Emma Donoghue

Updated on January 12, 2013

Review (4 out of 5 stars)

“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.”

This is the summary of Room, by Emma Donoghue.
Sounds interesting, right?

I bought this book about a year ago in one of my frantic amazon shopping bouts. I didn’t find a very big interest in the book cover or neither in the summary of the book, but it had good reviews and was nominated for the man booker prize. So why not?
I tried reading it. Not once, not twice, but three times.

And it wasn’t until my third try that I actually got through it. My first times reading it, I had been longing for more of a plot, because I couldn’t really deal with the lack therefore.
On the third try I tried to focus on jacks descriptions of his life and experience, and ended up getting so tangled up that I just had to finish it as soon as possible.

“Room” is narrated by a 5 year old. And a very bright one indeed, as it is seen through his sharp observant thoughts, in his own kid-like way.
““In the world I notice persons are nearly always stressed and have no time...I don't know how persons with jobs do the jobs and all the living as well...I guess the time gets spread very thin like butter all over the world, the roads and houses and playgrounds and stores, so there's only a little smear of time on each place, then everyone has to hurry on to the next bit.””

I found it very refreshing to read this as Jack, a kid that has never experienced the reality of life. Jack sometimes has some views on things that I do not think a 5 year old would ever think, and I felt that sometimes Donoghue tried to get a point through but was unable to make it believable as something that would be thoughts and believed by a kid.

To me, this is a fine book (which is also why I have rewarded it with 4 whole stars).
It is touching, interesting and different. But while I have a lot of praise, I do not think this book is a masterpiece.

Emma Donoghue is a great writer, hell, she’s a lot better than me, and she definitely has some great ideas. I just didn’t get completely blown away by this book at all, nor did it make me full of new thoughts of beliefs. Therefore, I do not think this is a must-read book. I liked it and enjoyed it, but that is pretty much it.

It’s a fine read. But don’t expect to be blown away.
Maybe you will be, maybe you won’t. I just know that I wasn’t.


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    • Thundermama profile image

      Catherine Taylor 4 years ago from Canada

      It took me a few tries to read this book as well as I found the narrative by a five year old boy kind of annoying, but once you get into the story it is very compelling. The story still haunts me. Worth pushing through and I agree with your 4 star rating. Good review.

    • Riviera Rose profile image

      Riviera Rose 4 years ago from South of France

      Great to read your review - it's a book I feel I ought to read rather than one I want to read... I dare say I will one day.