Wednesday 19 January 2011

Review: Room - Emma Donoghue

Genre: Fiction
Pages: 402
Published: 2010

This is the story of a mother, her son, a locked room and the outside world. Jack is five and, like any little boy, excited at the prospect of presents and cake. He's looking forward to telling his friends it's his birthday, too. But although Jack is a normal child in many ways - loving, funny, bright, full of energy and questions - his upbringing is far from ordinary: Jack's entire life has been spent in a single room that measures just 12 feet by 12 feet; as far as he's concerned, Room is the entire world. He shares this world with his mother, with Plant, and tiny Mouse (though Ma isn't a fan and throws a book at Mouse when she sees him). There's TV too, of course - and the cartoon characters he thinks of as his friends - but Jack knows that nothing else he sees on the screen is real. Old Nick, on the other hand, is all too real, but only visits at night - like a bat - when Jack is meant to be asleep and hidden safely in Wardrobe. And only Old Nick has the code to Door, which is otherwise locked...Told in Jack's voice, "Room" is the story of a mother's love for her son, and of a young boy's innocence.

Read the blurb. It's a good one.

My thoughts:
I was actually afraid to start this one, I was scared that it might be too much. Some things I just do not want to read bout. But everyone just loved it, and I was told it wasn't horrific. So I had a look at it, and could not put it down. I did anyway and saved it. The next time I took it up I could again not put it down, I read and read, at one time I was in such an uncomfortable position, but I read on. That is how good it was. The next day I could not turn my head to my left side. That kinds of sum it up how this book just sucked me in.

What saved the book from being too much for me, was that it was told through Jack, and he did not know what was going on. He only knew that Room was everything, and there was no Outside. He did not know TV was real either. And the only time there is that feeling that make you sick to your stomach is when he is sleeping in the wardrobe and hears the cringing from the bed. There we hear the horror, but we do not see it.

The book was unique and gripping. He was a boy who had only ever talked to his Ma, so I liked how the author made him express things. He was so innocent at the same time, and only later we fully see the trauma his Ma has experienced.

I am sure I could go on and on, but I will keep it short. Trust me, read this book. If I had read it last year it would have shared by Best book of the year spot with another. It was just that good.

Recommendation and final thoughts:
Remarkable, worth reading, and a book that I (almost) read in one sitting. It was impossible to put down, or to stop thinking about. So read it.

Reason for reading:
I had heard so much

For once I do not feel the need to be snarky


  1. Oh dear, what a review! You made me stop breathing for a moment. I will read it if only I can find it. Just a fantastic pick (although after the blurb I was rather a bit panicked, sensing another Joseph Frizl story)!!!.

  2. I just bought this today. I don't know if I'm looking forward to reading it or not.

  3. wow this one sounds so intense! i'm glad you liked it!

  4. I keep hearing about this one but haven't made up my mind if I'll read it or not. It sounds heavy.

  5. I listened to this book and found the reader of Jack annoying and it wrecked the book for me. I should have quit listening and picked up the print version. Glad you enjoyed it.

  6. OK, so now you should read Comfort Food by Kitty Thomas!

  7. This book was remarkable! I was on the edge of my seat as I read it.

  8. Room was one of my favorite reads of the year and even with the dark subject matter, it was a very uplifting book about the power of love between a mother and her child.

    I was smiling by the end. Jack was too adorable.

  9. I agree it was impossible to put down and one worth talking about. I like your cover, its different then the US cover!

  10. I've wanted to read this, but have been reluctant b/c of the subject matter. Your review has encouraged me to read it.

  11. I need to read this soon. It is one I have, but have put off reading as I am a little nervous by it.

  12. WOw, I really need to read this! It sounds really good and that character, my heart goes out for him. Love the cover too. I never thought about picking this one up, but now I want too. :) Great review.

  13. Ana
    Well it is in a way, creepy guy locks away woman, horrible beyond words. But what made me able to read it was truly Jack, because if it had been from her POV, now, I just can't read things like that. I hope your library or something gets it!

    I can't say I was thrilled, but when I started reading I just could not put it away.

    So incredibly good, and so horrible since we all know things like this happen in real life too

  14. Linda
    It was not heavy at all. I thought so too, but then you start to read, a 5 year old boy who does not know the reality of things. He doesn't even now the creepy man that comes at night is evil

    I can honestly understand that, an adult reading as thanks. Do read the print instead

    Ohh, I do not think I am quite ready for that book

  15. I won an audio book of this recently. I haven't listened to it yet. This has been on my will read or die list for a while now. I'm so glad you liked it. Since I can't read in the car, I might have to take a long trip just so I can listen to it and have an excuse to move it up on the tbr. :)

  16. I've been hearing about this recently and now I reserved this on library. Thanks for the review!FLA5596J

  17. Bermudaonion
    Me too! Lol, at one time I getting out of bed, but kind of lingering on the edge, reading, such a good book, my poor neck.

    He sure was sweet, I hope he forget some of those things he had gone through and turned out ok :)

    The US cover is nice, and this one, just a little house. Chilling

  18. DC
    I know where you are coming from. I borrowed it like 2-3 months ago, and stared at it. I am glad I finally braved it and read it

    I was so afraid she would write about certain things, and things I do not wanna read about. makes me so sad. But she didn't.

    Do pick it up. It was a wonderful book, and I have not read a book that kept me so glued to it for many many months

  19. Melissa
    Oh, Nise did writ a comment about how she didn't like the narrator at all. If you do listen to it, and do not like it, then do give the book a go

    Yay, I hope you will like the good writing.

  20. wow thats sounds so unique!! Thanks for putting this book on my radar! =D

  21. Everyone seems to love this book but I just can't bring myself to read it. It's the same thing with Lovely Bones. Now that I'm a parent I can't go near a book that involves anything bad happening to children.

  22. I haven't read this one yet but have heard such good things about it. The premise alone sounds so sad and emotional to me.

  23. This sounds quite deep! Great review, as usual! :)

  24. Yep, I'm going to read this one too just because so many people have recommended it!!

  25. oh, i'm intrigued because it was unputdownable and no snarks.

  26. I really liked the book particularly the aspect that it was told from a five year old's perspective. My review also up.

  27. Chris
    perhaps one day you will read it :)

    It's good with a bit of fiction now and then. I certainly need it

    I started lovely bones, then I came to the rape scene and I could not read any further. I have that sick to my stomach limit. But I did not reach that here

    It is sad, but there is also so much hope. A gripping book, that' all I am saying

  28. Thanks Melissa :)
    I do recommend it

    Good, I do hope you like it too. I just could not tear my eyes from the pages

    I do love inserting at least one tiny snark (but I am very nice, so only tiny ones, most often with covers, lol), but here, there was nothing at all. It was perfect.

    I am glad I read it, and listened to you all.

  29. Excellent review. I've heard alot about this one and glad to hear it's so good.

  30. Glad to know it's not too hard to read, but just thinking about what he hears when he's in the wardrobe turns my stomach. This book is on my to-read list.

  31. Yvonne
    Read it :)

    That was hard to read, but I am glad we were inside and not outside. then I could not have read it

  32. Ooh, glad you took the plunge and read this one. I don't think I will ever reread it, I admit, but I am glad I read it, and I think Donoghue wrote it very well.

  33. Aarti
    I will never re-read it either, once was enough, and I do not think you would get the same feeling re-reading it

  34. I have this on my wishlist, it does sound really intense.
    Great review.

  35. Wow. Now I'm scurd to pick up the book! ^__^ But I think this sounds like a must-read. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on it.

  36. Naida
    Do read it, that is all I am saying

    Scurd..oh do you mean scared? Anyway I was that, but it was not like that at all

  37. I definitely want to read this one. Loved the review!!

  38. Mishel
    So hard to put down, do read it



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