Review

Review: Room by Emma Donoghue

“Ma knows everything except the things she doesn’t remember right, or sometimes she says I’m too young for her to explain a thing.”

Genre: Fiction
Pages: 336
Published: August 6, 2010
Rate: 4 ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Goodreads Synopsis
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.

Told entirely in the language of the energetic, pragmatic five-year-old Jack, Room is a celebration of resilience and the limitless bond between parent and child, a brilliantly executed novel about what it means to journey from one world to another.

My Take
The first time I read Room, as an ebook, I found that I struggled so much and I just couldn’t enjoy it at all and gave it 2 stars. That was 2020. Fast forward to May 2021 when I picked it up again as a physical book this time, and I’m so glad that I did. I really liked it.

The book is told from a perspective of 5 year old Jack, and as the story unfolds you get to understand why it’s Jack telling it and not the mum. There’s a child like innocence in the narration that just broke my heart. Room is a harrowing book filled with so much sadness, and when I didn’t want to cry, I was angry and ready to fight.

The writing is simple yet a bit to hard to get into because Jack is just a baby, and if you lack the patience, you’ll be frustrated trying to understand his thought process.

One thing about Room, it will shock you. A lot. Sometimes I wondered how the author managed to conjure up some scenes because they were so vivid.

“What’s wrong with needing?”

Room is a visceral novel that does take a few pages to pick pace, but then it does and you won’t want to put it down. I didn’t.

Have you read this book? What did you think about it?

2 thoughts on “Review: Room by Emma Donoghue

  1. Interesting that you struggled to read the ebook but found the physical book better. Do you think that was because of the format or because of the mood/place you were in at the time?
    I enjoyed this book but read it quite some time ago now. I didn’t have kids then either so I would imagine my experience in reading it now would be much different.

    1. I think it was because of the format… Its different as an ebook. I also don’t have children at the moment and I think if I did, I may not even have tried reading it again

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