Monday, May 30, 2011

Room by Emma Donoghue

Title: Room
Author: Emma Donoghue
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Source: Library

What's the Story?:

From : "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 Two Cents:

The premise of this book is incredibly disturbing. Old Nick took Ma away from life in the outside world and constrained her in a single room. Unfortunately this scenario calls to mind a real scenario (Jaycee Dugard), which makes the book just that much creepier. This book is definitely worth a read. It's by far one of the most original story lines that I've read in a very long time. Even though a very similar story occurred in real life, Ms. Donoghue does such an amazing job with creating Jack and Ma's entire world in one room, their Room.

I can't imagine being a kid and only knowing one room as your entire world. I thought it made for an especially compelling story for the narrator to be Jack, the young child. Ma would have known life outside of Room but Jack, being born and raised in Room, would have known nothing else. Ma does the best she can with what she has. She tries to give him everything she can but she can't give him the one thing that she wants most and the one thing that Jack needs, freedom.

I don't want to give too much away but let me say this, if you want to read a good book with a really original story line, you must read this book.

My Rating:
4.5 out of 5 stars


  1. I have heard a lot of people talk about this book. It does sound interesting, thanks for the great review.

  2. This does sound like it would be a really interesting read. Thanks for sharing your review!

  3. Room is definitely one of my most memorable reads. The story was sensational, but well told and oddly realistic, especially with the spot-on narration. Disturbing though, very disturbing.

  4. What I thought set this book apart was the twist on the now-familiar creepy news item. The fresh approach for me was the paradox that Jack felt safe when he was trapped by the psycho but afraid when he finally reached safety. She turned the tabloid drama on its ear that way.
    I loved it.

  5. One of the most memorable, original, and haunting books I think I've ever read. I don't really read fast, and I read this one in a day.

  6. We must have been reading this at the same time! I agree that this is definitely one of my most memorable reads...I think I'll be thinking on this one for a good, long while...

    ~Asheley T. @ Into the Hall of Books

  7. I read this for my book club a few months ago. It generated the most discussion of any book we've read so far. You're right about it being such an original really is haunting how realistic everything came across. Room will definitely be a book that I remember for a long time.

  8. I've heard great things about this one. I agree that it's really interesting to have the child as the narrator.

  9. @Anne You should definitely pick it up! I can promise that it's one of the most original books you will read!

  10. @Trisha Oh my gosh, yes, it was definitely disturbing but I think that makes the ending even more poignant.

  11. @Sarah I definitely think that Jack's fear when he got to the open world was an interesting element. I can imagine that's exactly how I feel if my whole world suddenly became much larger all of the sudden. I'd be terrified.

  12. @Bailey - Window Seat Reader Yes! I couldn't put it down. I had to find out what happened!

  13. @Asheley @ Into the Hall of Books I have a feeling that this is going to be one of those books that I remember vividly for years to come. That definitely doesn't happen with every book I read.

  14. @Jenna (Literature and a Lens) Yes, this book is going to stick with me for a long time!

  15. @Alison You really should pick it up! It's a great read :)

  16. My book club is reading Room in August and I am very much looking forward to it. It is eerie how reminiscent it is of the Jaycee Dugard case but is actually based on Elizabeth Fritzl's captivity by her father in Austria. She was kept in a corridor type room with her three children for 24 years, her youngest boy being 5 at their discovery. Creepy! Wonderful review.


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