Room – Emma Donoghue

Wow. We read Room for my book club and I think it is a perfect choice for book clubs.  There are so many discussion topics.  Room is the story of Jack, a precocious child who spends his days in room with his mother.  Through his eyes we see their world and through his stories we discover that his mother is the victim of a kidnapping and is now being held captive by Old Nick.  When she was taken it was just her, Jack came later.

Though it takes a few pages to get into the rhythm of Donoghue’s writing, it is an impressive feat to tell an adult novel from a 5-year-old’s perspective and keep it a compelling read for 300 pages.  Donoghue does an amazing job capturing the mentality of a 5-year-old.  A few times, I had to remind myself that the narrator was a child and was limited to what he could do and what he could understand.  I wanted him to care about getting out of room and understand that where he lived was terrible, not wonderful.  But that is only because I bring an adult perspective to Room.  When your whole world is a confined space it is almost impossible to navigate the “real” world.  I couldn’t expect him to easily rescue his mother when he had never been outside, had never been in the sun, didn’t know how to climb stairs,never met his extended family, and countless other things that we experience on a daily basis (and take for granted).

I don’t want to say too much more about the book as I think you need to read and experience it for yourself.  It is by no means an “easy” read but it is worthwhile.  I wholeheartedly agree with the praise and accolades bestowed on this book.


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