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Room: A Novel

A book by Emma Donoghue

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I can't recommend it enough

  • Sep 17, 2010
  • by
Rating:
+5

When I first read the synopsis for this book I was worried that I might not enjoy reading a book told through the eyes of a five year old boy.  I felt that it was either going to come across  as too childish and possibly just annoy me, or he would come off as too mature for his age and therefore make it not credible enough for me.  I'm glad to report that I worried in vain.
 
Ms. Donoghue gives you the chilling tale of "Ma" - who has been held captive in a shack for seven years by her captor, Old Nick.  Jack, our narrator, and the young boy who just recently turned 5 years old,  has lived his whole life inside "Room".  Let me explain, everything in Jack's world (in this case Room), is a proper noun, thus he uses words like Room, Bed, Table, Floor, Chair, Wardrobe, TV, etc., to describe the items scattered throughout his world.  He's never seen the light of day and what he does know about the outside he learns through the TV and his Ma's stories.  
 
When Ma concocts a bold plan to break free from Old Nick, brave, little Jack, will have to rely on his bravery and hope that luck can help them escape.
 
I won't go too much into the storyline, because I feel that if you plan on reading  Room you should have limited knowledge of it (like I did) before you begin - this way you get more shock value as you read it.  What I will say is that Ms. Donoghue not only gives you an imaginative story but captures the love of a mother for her child so strongly that it will bring tears to your eyes.  Imagine living in a tiny room with nothing other than a bed, a bathroom, some household items and limited kitchen utensils.  Every Sunday Old Nick comes around (while Jack hides in his wardrobe) to visit Ma.  He knows to cover his eyes and ears until the bed stops creaking and Old Nick leaves. 
 
Considering the dark nature of this story - hearing it through Jack's eyes gives it a lighter feel.  Jack's voice was credible - his view of the world is unique and unforgettable.  His Ma was so resilient and fiercely protective of her child.  Her ability to teach Jack, keep him healthy, exercised, well-fed and dressed was so amazing to me.  You can't help but look up to her.  Her desperation to break free of that room and get back into the real world is painfully  felt - even though you only catch glimpses of it through Jack's eyes.  
 
All in all, this novel was superb.  It is thought-provoking, intense, emotional and powerful.  I can't recommend it enough.

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December 21, 2011
Wow, I've passed this over in the library but, I might have to grab it next time I'm there. Great review, thanks for sharing!
 
February 09, 2011
I wasn't as thrilled by this read, but you wrote a great review! I did write a review if you want to read it: http://community.cafelibri.com/reviews/book/...ou_Shouldn_t_Enter.html
 
1
More Room: A Novel reviews
review by . March 21, 2012
Room       Author: Emma Donoghue   Reviewed By Fran Lewis       The four walls of a room can often be confining when you are sick and unable to get around. But, what happens when the four walls become your only outlet with the world, your only environment and the only person that you see is you mother. From the day he was born Jack’s world evolved in the space of an entire Room. His mother, Ma was kidnapped and lived in the room …
review by . February 02, 2011
Caption
I had been reading and hearing nothing but good things about Room, so I finally decided to see what the hype was all about. My reading pleasure was slightly tainted when the library gave me one week to read it. The book is that popular with the public! However, my friend Paula assured me that it was a quick read. This was not the case. Although I was able to finish the book in one week, it was out of sheer pride and stubbornness. I wanted to stop reading it numerous times, and if …
review by . October 16, 2013
  I finished reading Emma Donoghue's Room a few days ago and I've been puzzling about it ever since.       The novel, which according to Donoghue's website has now sold more than a million copies, was nominated  for and/or has won a raft of prizes including the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize (for best Canadian novel), the Commonwealth Prize (Canada & Carribbean Region), the Canadian Booksellers’ Asand the Orange Prize.  …
Quick Tip by . February 19, 2012
a great perspective of kidnap from the view of one who's never known anything else.
review by . February 23, 2011
Jack has spent his entire life in one location—Room. It is where he was born and to his five year old mind, Room is the entire world. His world contains three people, himself, Ma, and Old Nick. Ma, a victim of kidnapping, uses their limited supplies, to transform Room into a place of adventure and excitement, filled with childhood stories and imaginative play. However, she has never given up hope of being rescued and she longs for their freedom. Told entirely from Jack’s perspective, …
review by . February 25, 2011
I would never have read this book if it wasn't part of The Morning News' Tournament of Books. Although this seems to be on most "best books" lists for 2010(and shortlisted for the Mann Booker prize), I wasn't sure I wanted to read Room. The story is being told by a five year old boy who is trapped in a 11' by 11' room with his mother. I have to admit to being concerned about how ghoulish and difficult the subject matter would be. I just didn't need another book …
review by . July 10, 2010
This is the kind of book that is better the less you know about it.    Even the product description above, and probably most of the reviews here will give you more information than you need to know.    So this review won't tell you much about this book. What I can tell you is that it lives up to the hype. It's a poignant, thoughtful, and completely original book.    What makes it original? -- the way of looking at the world, the use of …
Quick Tip by . March 07, 2011
The kind of book you don't want to stop reading! Great and easy read.
review by . October 26, 2010
Told entirely through the voice of a five-year-old boy, this spellbinding novel succeeds on many levels: it's a riveting, suspenseful story, a deep psychological portrait of two people with very different agendas, a total immersion in one child's extremely alien universe, an intense portrayal of love between parent and child, and an examination of our culture and socialization.    It's also a beautifully written novel from the Irish-born author of Slammerkin, which will haunt …
Quick Tip by . January 30, 2011
This book was all I expected and more. It is a beautifully written novel.
About the reviewer
Nely Sanchez ()
Ranked #345
I review books as a hobby for my personal blog - All About {n} which can be found at www.bookwormygirl.com. There you can find all sorts of book reviews, book giveaways and just random bookish events, … more
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Wiki

Amazon Best of the Month, September 2010: In many ways, Jack is a typical 5-year-old. He likes to read books, watch TV, and play games with his Ma. But Jack is different in a big way--he has lived his entire life in a single room, sharing the tiny space with only his mother and an unnerving nighttime visitor known as Old Nick. For Jack, Room is the only world he knows, but for Ma, it is a prison in which she has tried to craft a normal life for her son. When their insular world suddenly expands beyond the confines of their four walls, the consequences are piercing and extraordinary. Despite its profoundly disturbing premise, Emma Donoghue'sRoomis rife with moments of hope and beauty, and the dogged determination to live, even in the most desolate circumstances. A stunning and original novel of survival in captivity, readers who enterRoomwill leave staggered, as though, like Jack, they are seeing the world for the very first time.--Lynette Mong
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Details

ISBN-10: 0316098337
ISBN-13: 978-0316098335
Author: Emma Donoghue
Genre: Literature & Fiction, Mystery & Thrillers
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
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