Kaley's Reviews > Room

Room by Emma Donoghue
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's review
Nov 06, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: bookclub, 2010, favorites, arc
Read from November 02 to December 31, 2010

I was riveted from page one, and right through the very last sentence, this book surpassed my expectations.

Narrated in the haunting voice of five year old Jack, Room is the story of a mother and her son held captive in an 11'x11' shed. Jack was born in Room two years after his mother's abduction, and believes everything on the outside to be pretend. Surrounded by his friends (Table, Bed, Rug, Remote... all proper nouns), Jack lives day after day while his Ma does all she can to keep him safe and healthy. She creates games and routines, including phys ed and schooling, and she keeps Jack hidden from the eyes of his biological father, the captor who has created this hell.

But the thing that is so amazing, so astounding, is that it's not really hell at all to Jack; it's home, it's Room. The tale is both horrific and tender, both touching and terrifying. Jack's story is dark and disturbing, but Jack's voice is innocent and endearing. The poignancy of his understanding is simply heart-breaking. Donogue's writing is spectacular; I am amazed by her ability to create something that is so many adjectives at once, and yet they are all at odds with each other.

I will not soon forget this story, and I suspect I will carry Jack with me for a long while. I usually pass on my books after I've read them. But I will look forward to rereading this again someday. I think this one is a keeper.

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