Standalone Book Reviews

This page is for reviews of books that are not part of a series

Review of Room by Emma Donoghue

I read this book in November after having seen some good reviews. It's not my 'usual' type of book, I generally read paranormal romance and Young Adult fiction but this sounded like an  interesting read to break up the steady stream of vampires, werewolves and faeries.

The Blurb:

It’s Jack’s birthday, and he’s excited about turning five.
Jack lives with his Ma in Room, which has a locked door and a skylight, and measures 11 feet by 11 feet. He loves watching TV, and the cartoon characters he calls friends, but he knows that nothing he sees on screen is truly real – only him, Ma and the things in Room. Until the day Ma admits that there's a world outside . . .
Told in Jack's voice, Room is the story of a mother and son whose love lets them survive the impossible. Unsentimental and sometimes funny, devastating yet uplifting, Room is a novel like no other.

The book is written from Jack's perspective and Jack is an incredibly bright and funny five year old. He describes the things in Room as though they are old friends such as Rug and Meltedy Spoon.

I enjoyed reading the story from this perspective and found it incredibly moving in some places, and funny in others. I can't imagine the story being funny at all if it were told from Ma's perspective.

I found it really easy to get into Jack's narrative and shared his uncertainty and trepidation at suddenly being in the world outside Room. It's big and noisy and hard to understand after the comforting routines he followed in Room.

The horror of Ma's story is both softened yet magnified by having the story told in Jack's voice. We find out piece by piece through Jacks eyes and ears, and it is this that makes it all the more powerful. Most of it is never spelled out, but rather implied by things Ma says, or things Jack hears others saying to Ma and sometimes by events watched by Jack through the gaps in the Wardrobe in Room.

This is a book that has stayed with me after putting it down, I borrowed it from the library and fully intend to buy my own copy I loved it that much.  No doubt a few of my friends and family may find it under their tree this year too.....

Room: A Novel