Room by Emma Donaghue

roomFormat: e-book

Length: 342 pages

Publisher: Little, Brown and Company

Source: personal library

From the publisher:

To five-year-old Jack, Room is the entire world. It is where he was born and grew up; it’s where he lives with his Ma as they learn and read and eat and sleep and play. At night, his Ma shuts him safely in the wardrobe, where he is meant to be asleep when Old Nick visits.

Room is home to Jack, but to Ma, it is the prison where Old Nick has held her captive for seven years. Through determination, ingenuity, and fierce motherly love, Ma has created a life for Jack. But she knows it’s not enough…not for her or for him. She devises a bold escape plan, one that relies on her young son’s bravery and a lot of luck. What she does not realize is just how unprepared she is for the plan to actually work.

Here’s what I thought:

I’d heard a lot about this book over the past few years, and having LOVED Donoghue’s Slammerkin I was eager to read this one, too. This book was also on my 2014 TBR Pile Challenge list.

I have to admit that I didn’t enjoy this book as much as Donoghue’s previous work. The character of Jack, who narrates the novel, is a five-year-old boy. His narrative voice can be a bit grating, especially as he doesn’t speak like a normal child (having grown up in captivity with no other example than his mother and the television).

I never really warmed to either Jack or the mother, which probably makes me sound very cold-hearted and horrible, but there it is. I was glad with the way things turned out for them and thought that the resolution of the novel was very satisfying, but I just never felt that connection to them that I generally need to feel towards a book’s characters to really enjoy it.

Overall, the book was well-written and the plot interesting. I liked it, but I don’t think it will stay with me in the long-term.

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5 thoughts on “Room by Emma Donaghue

  1. Ti

    I felt the same way. I was probably one of the few that really did not like it when it first came out. Jack’s voice was not realistic to me. Didn’t sound like his age at all. The mother? Please. When the media gets involved and she literally turn off for Jack, I just wanted to slap her. And the escape? Not realistic at all.

    Reply
  2. Lauren

    I really liked this book but had never read anything by the author previously. Maybe I enjoyed it because I had no expectations? I should try some of her other stuff

    Reply
  3. Trish

    I certainly enjoyed the first half of the book a bit more than the second half of the book (though like you I’m glad for the way things ended). Though Jack’s language and speech reminded me a lot of Elle’s at this point in time and to me that made for very gutwrenching reading. I don’t think I could have listened on audio, though–it was very jarring and difficult to read.

    Hope you’re settling in well!!

    Reply
  4. Pingback: The August Wrap-Up | Too Fond

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