Goodreads Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
After a quick google search I learned that Emma Donoghue’s, Room, was not her first book. She has been a writer her entire life and has written many award winning works such as Landing (2007) and The Sealed Letter (2008). Her experience and intelligence is demonstrated in her 2010 novel, Room.
Room is a different sort of novel in that it was written from a five-year-old boy’s point of view. The boy’s mother was kidnapped when she was nineteen and placed in a room where she was raped and forced to rely on the man who captured her to bring her food and other necessities. Ultimately, she became pregnant and after her son, Jack, turned five she decided it was time to try to escape the only world Jack ever knew.
I listened to the audiobook version of Room so I don’t know how the book is organized chapter-wise but I will offer a warning that the book is read in a five-year-old’s voice which may or may not be stuck in your head for hours after you have stopped listening. At first I was not a fan of the voice but then I grew to love it. The voice was not forced but written exactly how a five-year-old talks. It became very believable. One of my favorite aspects was that everything took one hundred hours. Jack’s character was very realistic and relatable to all other exaggerating five-year old’s. The addition of so many tiny details helped make the story even more realistic. For example, Donoghue did not forget that her characters have bodily functions and that a little boy sometimes needs to poo.
I do not have any negatives per se, but I do have a lot of questions which could be spoilers so please stop here, read the book and then continue reading my review if you would not like the book to be potentially spoiled for you.
- The escape seemed a little bit too easy for me. Why did Old Nick not go back to the shed and try to take Jack’s mom into hiding somewhere with him?
- After Jack and his mother have escaped they are all over the television and Jack is supposedly loved by everyone and receiving presents in the mail from strangers. So my question is how was Jack able to go to the mall with his Uncle and his family and not be recognized at all? Wouldn’t at least his long hair give him away?
- The way Jack’s mom was kidnapped left a bad taste in my mouth. How was a nineteen-year-old woman not ever told in her life that if a strange man asks you to get in his truck and help him with his puppy you yell, “No,” and run the other way?
I was curious how a book written from a little boy’s point of view could end but the way Donoghue wrapped it all up was perfect. Everything was brought back together and tied with a nice little bow. I am excited to read more of Emma Donoghue’s works including her latest one, Frog Music (2014).