Room by Emma Donoghue

THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS!

Addition: Hardback library book

Genre: Fiction

Rating: 4 out of 5

Synopsis:

To five-year-old-Jack, Room is the world. . . . It’s where he was born, it’s where he and his Ma eat and sleep and play and learn. 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’s the prison where she has been held for seven years. Through her fierce love for her son, she has created a life for him in this eleven-by-eleven-foot space. But with Jack’s curiosity building alongside her own desperation, she knows that Room cannot contain either much longer.

Room is a tale at once shocking, riveting, exhilarating–a story of unconquerable love in harrowing circumstances, and of the diamond-hard bond between a mother and her child.

Room was recommended to me by a friend, who loved it, and I read it and recommended it to my Mum, who also loved it! This is the first book by Emma Donoghue I have read and I was a bit concerned that it wouldn’t be as good as I hoped due to all the hype surrounding the book, but honestly, I really enjoyed it.

This story is told by Jack – a five year old boy. It is written using the language a small boy would use, which took me a little while to get used too. I found the first 50 pages a bit slow as I worked out what he was describing and what was going on. However, once past those pages I was hooked. I got used to the language and how Jack describes things. This book is actually very well written – it is very clever.

The story is not a happy one. Jack and his Mum are locked in a room and controlled by a kidnapper. Poor Jack knows nothing but this home and doesn’t understand that it isn’t a good situation. When his Mum sets up an escape plan Jack doesn’t want to leave. Jack is very brave and goes through with the escape and it is fascinating reading about how he has to adjust to the world. They are things you would never consider – he has a bad immune system, the light is too bright and he can’t walk far. People scare him – in fact, the outside world scares him. It was a great read but if I’m honest I didn’t think the escape was very realistic. That aside, I enjoyed this book.

There are not many characters in this book to comment on! I thought Jack was sweet but maybe a little demanding. I found his Mum an interesting character. I liked that she tried to teach him and that she protects him from the kidnapper. However, I felt some things strange, like still breastfeeding him at five. I didn’t like that after she escaped she attempted suicide either. It seemed strange that after she had survived and escaped what happened that she would give up?!

This is a good book – a compelling read. This is well worth getting your reads on – it deserves the credit and attention it got. This isn’t a happy read but so well written and has a nice ending. This isn’t my usual read – or my Mum’s, I like chick-lit and she likes murders, but we both loved this book. Definitely read it!

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