Michelle's Reviews > Room

Room by Emma Donoghue
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's review
Nov 21, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: 2013, book-club, books-i-own, fiction, psych-social
Read from July 28 to August 10, 2013

** spoiler alert ** I read most of Room by Emma Donoghue while on vacation, and it felt weird. There I was, sitting on a beach, or a porch in the sunshine, being told a story by a five-year-old narrator who has never left a single room. Room was my book club's chosen novel, though, so I wanted to get it read. And then I couldn't put it down (a bit of a drag for those planned group activities).

Told by Jack, the five-year-old son of a young woman who was kidnapped and held in a room for over seven years, this is a pretty angst story. The young narrator is necessary, because the subject matter and the utter hopelessness of Jack and his Ma's situation would be too much if told through an adult's understanding. Jack believes that there is Room, where he and Ma, Rug and Table, and more objects live, and everything else is just television.

Honestly, as awful and claustrophobic as the in-Room portion of the story is, the parts after Jack and Ma escape were incredibly cringeworthy. The interview that Ma gives made me want to punch the reporter in the face (I don't usually want to get into a physical altercation with fictional characters). The second half of the book focuses on the morbid curiosity of the public and the celebrity of people who have suffered great trauma. While some scenes (when Ma's brother casually takes Jack to the mall? seriously? taking a child to the mall is a bad idea when the kid understands how malls work) feel a bit contrived to create extra tensions and emphasize just how un-socialized Jack is, others (when Jack insists on going back to Room, and doesn't understand why Ma wouldn't want to) read very true to me.

I enjoyed/was entranced/couldn't put down Room. It was one of the better recent novels I've read. I wouldn't recommend bringing it on vacation.

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Reading Progress

07/28/2013 marked as: currently-reading
08/20/2013 marked as: read

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