Book Review: ROOM by Emma Donoghue

I finally decided to end the indecisiveness and start reading Room by Emma Donoghue.

Now I’m contemplating on how I actually felt about this book but lets start by a little synopsis.

roomROOM is the world of 5 year old Jack who only knows his world in Room with his Ma. ROOM is all he has ever known from seeing this place the moment he was born to all the years learning, exercising, playing, reading, eating and sleeping.  TV shows him the imaginary things that are his friends and his favorite being Dora.  At night, Ma shuts him in the wardrobe to sleep when shortly after Door goes beep beep and Old Nick comes to see her.  In the morning, Jack almost always wakes up on the bed sleeping while Ma does what she has to.  To Jack, this is his whole world and he knows nothing more but to Ma, she feels the constant urge and know that their lives are getting more and more unable to be stuck in Room. ROOM is told through the thoughts, feelings and views of little Jack.

I really can’t summarize this without ruining it for others who would like to read it.  I’m guessing from my description you already know that Room isn’t supposed to be a happy story.  Its essentially the story of a woman that lives because of her son while trapped and hidden away from the world years ago.  We watch the struggle and the conflicts and we see it all through the simple mind of Jack as his Ma who once lied about the world outside of Room to not give him hope but being unable to do it anymore.

If I continue on that train of thought, I’ll start telling the whole story.  Room is a pretty emotionally tough story to read.  The first part touched and impacted me a lot more than the second half though.  The tone and pace was different also.  The end of the book had a little interview with the writer herself and she explained that using a little boy’s words would make it easier to read.  I actually disagree because it made it harder.  We fall inside the character of Jack, even if we’re not 5 years old.  The way the little boy speaks and his actions, reactions are familiar but then because we as the audience also know more than he does, its a painful feeling.  We can also see the struggle in his Ma that we don’t understand but at the same time, its like we have a little barrier that doesn’t exactly allow us to see it clearly either.

As I write this out, I believe that the book did achieve what it wanted to.  The story broke my heart but at the same time, it also was hopeful in the second half even if it was a tad bittersweet.  Maybe thats how I can describe it: Its a pretty good but bittersweet and at times, heart breaking read!

12 thoughts on “Book Review: ROOM by Emma Donoghue

  1. Pingback: Room (2015) | Tranquil Dreams

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