Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Review: Room by Emma Donoghue

Book: Room by Emma Donoghue
Genre: Literary Fiction
Rating: A
For: Fun
From: Amazon

Of course I've seen this book recommended by many of you bloggers, but what got us on to it was when my son's English teacher starred it in a list of recommended books and when he (my son) showed interest in it, I instantly bought it for him.

I've seriously never seen him read a book so fast, and so intently. It was amazing. I worried a little, because I've heard there's some disturbing parts, but he read it before me anyway and I hoped all would be well. Once he was done,  I took a turn and could see why it was so hard to put down! And the disturbing bits, not so bad that a 16 year old couldn't handle them.

This is the story of Jack and his ma, as many of you know, told all from Jack's point of view. It opens on his fifth birthday, where Jack is thrilled to get a drawing of himself from his ma and even a birthday cake. His world consists of a single room, and the routine that his mother has developed for him within. Meals are on a tight schedule, as are different "classes" and play times and TV times. He doesn't know anything else exists, and is convinced that what he sees on TV is pretend. There's a guy visitor that comes sometimes in the night, who he must hide from, but who does bring them Sunday treat, something he very much looks forward to. He would be happy to go on like this forever.

But his mom does not feel the same way. And once he turns five, things begin to change.

Wow, this is an amazing story! All captured in the voice of this five year old who knows nothing of the world, yet is brilliantly smart because of what his mom has taught him. It is very hard to stop reading and put it down when real life calls. It's fascinating to be inside this kid's head, and then when stuff happens, it's hard to not feel his total terror. Or his mom's. And what a powerful character she is too, with her intense will to survive and live and keep them both alive.... even to the point that her son is happy to be in Room forever.

It might sound like it's a bit on the depressing side, but actually, it's the complete opposite. It's a tribute to the human spirit and leaves you with a very positive outlook.

Bottom line: LOVED it!

Other Reviews:

One Minute Book Reviews
Write Meg!
Book Journey
Tiff Talks Books
....and many many others!


  1. Someday I'll read this one! It's been near the top of my list for a while...

  2. I am so glad you enjoyed this. Emma Donoghue has always been one of my favourite authors, so I am glad she is getting more attention. :)

  3. Excellent review! I've avoided reading this one for a while because I was a little nervous about the topic, which is definitely unsettling... but I think I'll have to give it a try. It sounds like the disturbing parts were pretty mild. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  4. I have been hearing about this book for a while. Thanks for the great review.

  5. So glad you read and loved this one. I felt this was just so different from anything else I've been reading lately!

  6. Very impressed that your 16yo son liked this one so much. My 19yo is a big reader but I'm not sure I would have thought to hand this one to him. When it makes the family rounds and gets to my house, I'll have to include him.



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