Monday, 25 October 2010

Review: Room by Emma Donoghue

ROOM by Emma Donoghue

Publisher:  Picador
Release date:  20th August 2010
Review format:  Hardcover

Goodreads Synopsis:  To five-year-old Jack, Room is the entire world.  It's where he was born, where he and his Ma eat and play and learn.  At night, Ma puts him safely to sleep in the wardrobe, in case Old Nick comes.

Room is home to Jack, but to Ma it's the prison where she's been held for seven years.  Through determination, ingenuity, and fierce motherly love, Ma has created a life for her son.  But Jack's curiosity is building alongside Ma's desperation - and she knows Room cannot contain either indefinitely ...

Told in the inventive, funny and poignant voice of Jack, Room is a powerful story of a mother and son whose love lets them survive the impossible.

My thoughts:  I can't quite decide what I thought of Room.  The story itself is powerful and emotive, but there's just something ...

The writing is disjointed and sometimes I got a bit lost with the narrative, not quite understanding what Jack was meaning.  Jack is 5 years old and a very clever little boy, but I just don't think he talks like a 'real' 5 year old.  My own son is just 4 years old and has what I would describe as a normal grasp of the English language for a child of that age.  You might think 'well yeah, he's been locked in a room since his birth', but his mother is eloquent and speaks properly so I don't understand why the author has made Jack speak like he does.

Saying all that, I did like the book.  The plot was great and following their escape and life afterwards was quite captivating, just the writing itself let it down.

My rating:  3 stars


Arielle said...

I have this on my TBR list and can't wait to get to it. Every review I read about this book makes me more and more curious :)

Karen & Gerard Zemek said...

We both read this book and liked it. In fact, it was my favorite read for last month! Here's the link to my review of it:

Lynn said...


Just finished reading Room and had mixed feelings at the end. I know what you mean about the voice of Jack - and, I think it would have been better to have some of Ma's POV particularly in the second half. Still an intriguing read.