Jennifer's Reviews > Room

Room by Emma Donoghue
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's review
Feb 22, 12

bookshelves: 2012-reads, family, m-for-mature, mind-blowing, psychological, realistic-contemporary
Read from January 09 to 17, 2012

For full review, go to my blog post: http://a-librarians-library.blogspot....

I have done a little bit of research on Emma Donoghue and her thoughts about why and how she decided to write this book. She based this novel on the case of the Fritzl Family. Donoghue was really interested in Felix Fritzl, who was five years old at the time of his rescue out of the basement prison in which he was born in. Donoghue based her character of Jack on the experiences that Felix must have gone through, from not knowing anything other than their prison to all of a sudden being exposed to the world outside of their "room."

And so we have Jack, a just-turned five-year-old boy who's whole world is an 11ft by 11ft room. Through his voice (his impressively written five-year-old voice, complete with over-applied grammar rules and young child stream of consciousness, which is done absolutely brilliantly), Jack tells us the story of his life in Room, about his Ma, and about Old Nick. For a five-year-old who has only known Room, an explanation of the world outside is a huge concept to grasp, and Jack struggles with his understanding of the world his Ma once knew. And once he sees this huge world for himself, he struggles to adjust to the "lack of specific schedule" and the freedom that comes from living outside of Room.

This novel really explores the psychological effects of long-term confinement, both the confinement itself and the adjustment after being released. So if you are looking for a novel with an active plot, then this will not peak your interest, because a lot of this novel is not action-packed, but rather explores the everyday life kinds of things. However, if you understand and appreciate the social sciences, then you will be intrigued by this novel and be able to fully appreciate everything this novel is about. I say this again because I have an educational background in the social sciences of Family Studies, and many people who don't have this kind of background really didn't quite grasp the importance of each and every "mundane" detail that was included in this novel. This is a novel that is geared for an audience who likes to explore elements of the social sciences.
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01/14/2012 page 70
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Melissa I have my BA in Sociology, which is one of the reasons I was so drawn to this book. I really enjoyed it. Surprisingly, I haven't read any more of Donoghue's work yet.

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