Room by Emma Donoghue, a book review.
Cover of Room: A Novel
To five year-old Jack, Room is the world. It’s where he was born. It’s where he and Ma eat and sleep and play and learn. There are endless wonders that let loose Jack’s imagination – the snake under Bed that he constructs out of eggshells; the imaginary world projected through the TV; the coziness of Wardrobe beneath Ma’s clothes where she tucks him in safely at night in case Old Nick comes.
Room is home to Jack, but to Ma, it’s the prison where she’s been held since she was nineteen – for seven long years. Through her fierce love for her son, she has created a life for him in that eleven-by-eleven-foot space. But Jack’s curiosity is building alongside Ma’s own desperation, and she knows that Room cannot contain either indefinitely.
Told in the inventive, funny, and poignant voice of Jack, “Room” is a celebration of resilience – and a powerful story of a mother and son whose love lets them survive the impossible.
How do I say more without giving away the story? For many months I had heard about this story, knew that it was about a five-year-old locked in a room with his mother, but I knew few details and I especially didn’t know how it was going to end.
The story details the life of mother and son living in Room – that is ONE ROOM. We learn how a mother makes daily life interesting, as best she can, for her son. In learning this we can look at our own lives and realize we are not spending enough time with our children, not giving them enough love, not teaching them enough, perhaps even neglecting them. We also find we take for granted the world we live in. Imagine growing up knowing nothing other than one room. You’ve never seen or spoken to other people; you’ve never seen the grass, the trees, the ocean, flowers, cars, or even a telephone or camera.
Emma Donoghue writes brilliantly in the point of view and voice of a five-year-old boy. She shows us what a little imagination can do. We see things through the eyes and ears of a five-year-old, the good and the bad. It is heartbreaking as well as heart-warming.
I hear many people tell of how they will read a book more than once – by choice. But imagine not having the choice. Imagine only having 5 books to read over and over again. There are so many books to read; we need to appreciate the options we have in life – the books we read, the food we eat, the space we live in, the air we breathe, and the attention and love we give to our loved ones.
“Room” is a real page turner and affected me to the point that when I put the book down and did other things, I felt like I was doing them for the first time. There are no sex scenes, no swear words, no violence, and no reason NOT to read this book.