Author: Emma Donoghue
Genre: Adult, Realistic fiction, Family
Average Goodreads rating: 3:95
My rating: 2/5
(Paperback, 321 pages, Published September 13th 2010 by Little, Brown and Company)
Blurb: 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.
This is a hard one to review. I had heard so much about this book and so many of my friends have read it and told me how amazing and touching it was. I was expecting to be blown away, to find it powerful and emotional. But it just didn’t do it for me.
I truly applaud Emma Donoghue for tackling such a hard subject. It must have been a hard book to write, and at times it was a hard book to read because of the subject matter. Parts of this book were amazing and when I got to about half way through it was hard to put down but it didn’t last.
Part of my problem was that I found all the characters to be incredibly irritating. I understand that what they went through was hideous but it didn’t stop them from annoying me constantly. Because of this I found it hard to care about them and I was more moved by the situation itself and not what the actual characters were going through.
It was a bold step to write this book through the POV of a 5 year old, and for the most part it worked. Yet, there was so much in there that was repeated over and over again. If he mentioned his penis or his mums boobs one more time I might have screamed. I wasn’t repulsed by the fact that these things were in the book, just thought that they didn’t need to be bought up every five pages.
I also felt that at times, especially the second half of the book things seemed unrealistic. There are some things that happened that I just don’t think would. Maybe that is because I am not from the states where this story is set and that things are done differently there. Also, I didn’t get a feeling of closure at the end. Instead of stories of Jack doing this and that I would have preferred to hear more about the court case and hoe him and his mother got in further into the future.
All in all it was an interesting and brave book. I got the feeling that I was supposed to like it because of what it was about but the honest truth is I didn’t find it as moving or powerful as I think the author wanted me to.