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Room by Emma Donoghue

Room by Emma DonoghueFrom Room the Book:

To five-year-old-Jack, Room is the world….

It’s where he was born, it’s where he and his 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 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 her 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.

This is another book that my friend, Vicki, suggested that I read.   She warned me that it was disturbing, but a must read for sure.  She was right; it is a very disturbing story and it is a must read.

Are you familiar with the television show Criminal Minds?   This book reminded me of a storyline that could be on that show.  They are profilers that solve crimes, such as the one committed in this book.  I love the show, but this is a book review so let’s get to it.

When I first started this book I was a bit frustrated with the narration.  It was just plain annoying to read a book being told by a five-year-old, but I kept plugging along.  Plugging along might not be the right phrase because it wasn’t like I had to make myself keep reading, I just had to get past the five-year-old voice I heard in my head every time he spoke.

The story sucked me in from the very beginning.  I can’t imagine living in a room the size of our guest bedroom in our home.  Neither can I imagine there being a kitchen, bathroom, living area, dining area, bed & wardrobe all in a room that size.

Donoghue’s writing makes everything inside Room so vivid and real.  I could see everything happening as I read.  Jack, your typical 5 year old, is full of questions, and Ma does her best to make his life as normal as possible by making things up as she goes along.  Room.  Room is a character in and of itself.

The chapters of this book are titled:  Presents, Unlying, Dying, After, and Living.  By the time I got to Unlying, which is where Ma tells Jack the truth about things she had previously lied about, I had completely gotten accustomed to Jack narrating the whole thing.  I couldn’t care less who was telling the story at that point; I couldn’t put the stinkin’ book down.

There is a happy ending to this dark and disturbing story.  I hope that isn’t considered a spoiler.  There are also funny parts, sad parts, and even heartwarming parts.  Oh, and there’s suspense too.


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