Karen's Reviews > Room

Room by Emma Donoghue
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's review
Nov 12, 10

Read from November 08 to 11, 2010

I've always liked Emma Donoghue but this is by far her best book to date. She really nails the voice of her five-year-old narrator, Jack. Describing everything from his point of view, a child's vision of a world the reader immediately realizes is deeply screwed up, cannot have been an easy task. Jack lives in Room with Ma. It's all he's ever known, and he can't understand why Ma wants to leave because as far as he's concerned there is nothing other than Room. The things he sees on television exist on other "planets." The games they play--Scream and Corpse--just seem normal to Jack as does the fact that Room has no windows and only one door, which is always locked. Only Old Nick comes to Room. And when he comes Ma puts Jack in Wardrobe. What the reader and Ma knows, but Jack doesn't, is that Ma is Old Nick's prisoner. Jack is the product of her rape, which means Ma has been locked up for more than five years, and each day that passes becomes more and more dangerous for both of the prisoners, even if Jack can't understand. At first (and I am ashamed to say this) I was creeped out by Jack, but as the book progressed, I grew to like him very much. His view of the world--his very small world--ensnares the reader from the start. This book was gotten lots of good press and absolutely deserves it.
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