Room by Emma Donoghue

Cover via Goodreads

Rating: 4/5 stars.

Room is a beautiful book about the bond between mother and son.

It’s about a nineteen-year-old girl who is kidnapped and forced to live in a 11′ x 11′ foot room for seven years. During this time, she has two children – one is a stillborn while the other survives and is five at the time the book begins. To Jack, her son, Room is everything. It’s where he’s been raised since his birth, and where he eats, plays, and lives with Ma. However, Ma creates a plan to escape Room with Jack – but will they be able to deal with the consequences of their departure?

I loved the first half of the novel. Seeing something so disturbing and wrong take place through the eyes of an innocent five-year-old was terrifying, but touching at the same time. Jack possesses one of the most unique voices I’ve read, and I give credit to Emma Donoghue for maintaining its authenticity and honesty throughout the entire novel.

From the “After” part of the novel on I felt that a little bit of its magic dissipated. I still liked it, but I could not take away anything particularly powerful or meaningful. The ending was clean and neat, though it left something to be desired.

After reading Room, I can see what all the hype is about – it’s a chilling, compelling novel that will leave readers thinking long after they put the book down.



Filed under 4 stars, Book Reviews, Books

2 responses to “Room by Emma Donoghue

  1. ohmygoodness

    I was pretty disappointed with this book, after all the hype about it. I wasn’t convinced by the child’s voice, which ostensibly it the book’s strongpoint. He was far too preceptive to be five! Most adults aren’t as perceptive as that. The most convincing child’s voice I can think of is in The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver, parts of which are narrated by a little girl- the voices in that book have always stayed with me, especially hers.

    I think this book was really just skating along on the presience of its subject matter- it was released around the same time as the Fritzl thing happened. I don’t mean to sound dismissive, I enjoyed it on some level or I wouldn’t have finished it, but I think it was overhyped.

    • I’ve read reviews criticizing the book for reasons similar to yours, so, I understand your viewpoint. I’ll be sure to check out the Poisonwood Bible as well. (:

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