'Room' by Emma Donoghue - Book Review


The Bottom Line

Award-winning author Emma Donoghue's latest book, Room, is a unique and amazing story about a boy's day-to-day experience living in a small, windowless room with his mother. The 11' x 11' space between the walls of the room are actually all the boy knows because he was born there and has never left. Room will horrify, surprise, sadden and ultimately delight you. Addictive from the start, readers of all sorts won't want to put Room down.


  • Unique, intriguing story that hooks readers from the first page
  • The first person narrative by Jack gives the story warmth and an original perspective
  • Provides plenty of discussion material


  • A few readers might grow weary of the idiosyncratic voice of Jack


  • 'Room' by Emma Donoghue was first published in the U.S. in September 2010.
  • Publisher: Little, Brown
  • 321 pages

Guide Review - Room by Emma Donoghue - Book Review

Five-year-old Jack doesn't know that other children are real. His skin has never been exposed to sunlight and his eyes have never focused on an object more than 11 feet away. He has never worn shoes. Jack was born into a small, windowless room and has lived there his entire life with his mother, who is being held prisoner by a sexually abusive captor. Now that Jack is five and increasingly curious, Ma knows they can't stay there much longer without going crazy, yet escape seems impossible.

Besides, what would living in the Outside be like for Jack, whose only home has been within these four walls?

Despite its horrifying premise, Room isn't a scary book. Told from Jack's perspective in a stream-of-consciousness narrative, Room is about Jack -- the similarities he shares with other children his own age but mostly the differences caused by living in almost solitary confinement, not knowing about the existence of the world and everything it contains.

It's about the love between a mother and child regardless of circumstances

Room is unlike any book I've read. It grabbed me from the very first page and didn't leave my thoughts for the two days it took to read. Room will appeal to many types of readers. It's a quick, relatively light read about a serious subject. Those with an interest in child development and early childhood education will be especially intrigued by its themes, but I think everyone will enjoy this chilling but ultimately satisfying story.

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Your Citation
Limber, Anna. "'Room' by Emma Donoghue - Book Review." ThoughtCo, Feb. 11, 2017, thoughtco.com/room-by-emma-donoghue-book-review-362219. Limber, Anna. (2017, February 11). 'Room' by Emma Donoghue - Book Review. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/room-by-emma-donoghue-book-review-362219 Limber, Anna. "'Room' by Emma Donoghue - Book Review." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/room-by-emma-donoghue-book-review-362219 (accessed January 22, 2018).