'Room' by Emma Donoghue: Book Review


Award-winning author Emma Donoghue's 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 is actually all the boy knows because he was born there and has never left. Room will horrify, surprise, sadden and ultimately delight you.

Reading Room by Emma Donoghue

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 you've read. It will grab you from the very first page and won't leave your thoughts. Room will also 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 everyone will enjoy this chilling but ultimately satisfying story.