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Room by Emma Donoghue > Your Opinion of the Novel

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message 1: by Mark (last edited May 08, 2018 12:32PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mark Ueber | 255 comments Mod
Room deals with some difficult and disturbing topics. Why would anyone want to read it? Is the novel sensationalistic in its portrayal of these characters’ lives? Why has it been so popular?
Question by Mount Prospect Public Library

message 2: by Mark (last edited May 18, 2018 02:04PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mark Ueber | 255 comments Mod
I gave the book 4/5 stars on Goodreads.

I like the way the author used the plot of the novel to subtly question what is really important in life.

Family: In this case, the family includes Ma and a lot of inanimate objects, but Jack learns his real family is made up of other people, and that is harder to manage than objects.

Isolation: What happens if "family" becomes isolated from other families? Jack is feeling too free; Ma is feeling less free than she'd like to be, and Jack is a part of the problem. She has a depressive episode because getting out of Room is on as liberating as she expected.

Fear: Jack's afraid of the outside. Everything is new to him. Even though the staff at the Clinic try to control the flow, so much new stuff is coming at him, Jack can't help but be overwhelmed, and family and staff are overwhelmed by the task of assisting him. What parent hasn't felt overwhelmed? Ma's afraid of the inside, afraid she'll never get out and risks Jack's life to be free. Sometimes some folks feel they have nothing to lose.

The family tries to help. Professionals try to help. A lot of good people do what they can. Even though Jack's grandfather can't handle it, his stoner step-grandfather can. Other people are worthy of Jack and Ma's fear, the press for example.

These themes affect us all from time to time, which may be why the book sold so many copies and was made into a movie.

I'd give the book 5 stars except Jack's voice got a bit irritating at the end.

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