Saturday, May 12, 2012

Room- Book Review

By Emma Donaghue

Room is the story of Jack, a 5 year old boy, and he's mother. They have been locked in Room since he's birth. He doesn't know anything but Room.  They are held captive by Old Nick.

This story is set up wondering how Jack and he's mother are in Room to begin with. The story reveals itself after awhile.  The narrative is told through Jack at the age of 5.  There are things he doesn't understand since he is isolated with he's mother in Room. Half way through the book, Jack and he's mother devise a plan to find a way for Jack to escape without Old Jack realizing what is going on.

My Review:  I did not enjoy reading Room. There many bloggers and reviewers that loved this book. But, I must have missed the mark. I just don't get how readers can enjoy, such a depressing novel.

I admit I like her writing style, and how she was able to get into Jack's head and tell us what he was thinking, especially after they were living outside Room. What it felt like to him.  I liked how she built the story before they were able to escape Room, then the escape itself, which built up the tension in the book, and after, living in the outside world. 

 The part that I thought was unique, was leaving the part of the story wondering how she and her son were in this position in the first place. I liked how little bits of the history came in to the story in small nuggets, rather than the entire chunk, it made the story intriguing.

But, still I did not enjoy reading Room. It was perhaps so close to the real life story of a young girl kidnapped, and later on discovered by police as a adult with two little girls living in the backyard.  It was too depressing, and heartbreaking to read Room. Can't imagine a life where you are locked up in a room.  The only happiness, if you can call it happiness was having her son, Jack.

The story was too hard to read for me, too terrible to relate. What a terrible life she had to live for years at 19 being kidnapped and held captive by Old Nick, and of course the abuse that kept going on while she was held. 

 The conditions she and Jack lived in were despicable. There were parts that were so hard to read. Especially Old Nick coming into Room, and Jack in the wardrobe while Old Nick, and Mother having sex. Through the entire book, there are subtle hints of what was going on, not openly said. But, anyone can figure out the suggestions. 
There was odd behavior between Jack and he's mother. This would be expected since both of them being isolated in Room.  Since Jack not knowing any better, only knowing Room, and what he learns from he's mother he feels acceptable, but we know would not, in our society. 

The only thing I could relate to was the mother-son relationship. The love of he's mother, and care and concern they had for each other. This would be a Mother's Day book if it was not for the subject matter.

I bought this book over two years ago. I only read it because our book club was discussing it.  I would not recommend it.


bermudaonion said...

It took me a little while to get into the book, but once I did, I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. I thought the story was very powerful.

Irene said...

I've had this book on my shelf too, probably for that long, I cannot bring myself to read it. Perhaps I won't.

Irene said...

I've had this book for a long time too, I cannot bring myself to read it. Perhaps I won't.

Amberg132 said...

Having read the book a while ago, yes, I agree that the plot is rather depressing yet it is still a good book in the sense that it is reality and it is what the book wants the world to reflect on. Simply said, it is similar to The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton where it shows the reality of gangs, violence, teenage sex, child abuse and on and on. Here, the author is trying to get one to put yourself in the 5-year-old boy's shoe. Is he horrified? Are you in your current state horrified? Can this 5 year old make a change and can you too? It may not be a good read but is one that is good to reflect on:)

Beth Cutwright said...

Thank you for your review. I have been afraid to read this book. I am following you through GFC as lucyatmax. Would you please consider following my blog at
Thank You!

Carolina Gal's Literary Cafe said...

Beth, I must be a little slow what is GFC? I will follow you on my blog too.

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