Room by Emma Donoghue
Release Date: August 20, 2010
Jack is five, and excited about his birthday. He lives with his Ma in Room, which has a locked door and a skylight, and measures twelve feet by twelve feet. He loves watching TV, and the cartoon characters he calls friends, but he knows that nothing he sees on screen is truly real – only him, Ma and the things in Room. Until the day Ma admits that there’s a world outside ...
Told in Jack’s voice, Room is the story of a mother and son whose love lets them survive the impossible. Unsentimental and sometimes funny, devastating yet uplifting, Room is a novel like no other. - Book blurb
The store where I work was having a huge sale on books, and a large number had been reduced. As tempting as it was, I only purchased a small handful and this book was recommended by one of my colleagues. I was a bit unsure, but she absolutely insisted that I buy it, and I’m so glad I did.
There are so many things to say about this book, but I have to be careful in what I write, so that I don’t give anything away. I started reading this book knowing nothing about it, except from what I read in the blurb on the back (see above summary), and this made it all the more special. When I went to find a summary to include in this review, I felt that my usual source gave too much of the story away, and I truly believe that if I had read those, I don’t think Room would have had the effect on me that it did. But don’t worry, it was definitely for the better.
So, Room... This book is written in the words of a five year old boy named Jack. This was originally a little off putting, but I came to love Jack so much because of it. Because this story is a little confronting, reading it through a child’s eyes makes it all the more special. Like I mentioned, I don’t want to give too much away, but Jack and Ma live in a 12x12ft room. This is the only world that Jack has ever known, for Jack this IS the world. You would think that being confined to a room with no knowledge of what is outside would somehow effect a child, but Ma does a great job in educating Jack, teaching him manners, and keeping him healthy. Some of her methods may seem a little unorthodox, but she did the best with what she had, and that’s all anyone can ever ask of a person.
Audrey Niffenegger, (author of The Time Traveller’s Wife), commented on the front of this book saying “When it’s over you look up: the world looks the same but you are somehow different and that feeling lingers for days”. This is how I felt while I was reading, and even a month after I finished. It is an incredible story of love and survival that will have you laughing, crying, and at times gasping for breath.
If it wasn’t clear by my review, I rate this book a 5 out of 5. This book was fabulous and I know that I’ll read it over and over again. Reading this through Jack’s eyes makes this story so special, and despite the initial grim circumstances, the outlook for Jack is bright. I know my review may seem kind of disjointed and doesn’t give a particular good description of the book, but I really do encourage you to read it and experience the joy and sadness that is, Room.
If you have read Room, than tell me what you thought. I loved it, but if you didn’t, I’d love to hear your comments on it. Also, once you've read Room, (or if you're not plainging on reading it, which i sincerly hope you do), I recommend you visit the books website: roomthebook.com. It gives you more information about the author's purpose for writing the book, includes bookclub questions, and overall gives you more of a visual look Inside 'Room'. Thanks.