Room by Emma Donoghue

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Title: Room

Author: Emma Donoghue

Release Date: September 13th 2010




Room is so unlike anything else I have read.

It is told from the perspective of five year old Jack which takes a lot of getting used to. It's an interesting technique and I think it works well as a fresh take on the subject matter.

Jack's "Ma" was abducted by "Old Nick" when she was nineteen years old and she has been kept captive for seven years. She has been locked in "Room" with the bare essentials to survive and is repeatedly abused by "Old Nick". She gave birth to Jack two years into her captivity. She has done her best to create a life for Jack but the daily struggle becomes worse and worse and so she plans their bold escape.

Parts of this book are uncomfortable but I think that's just a credit to the storytelling as it doesn't shy away from the realities of being imprisoned. Jack is awake whilst his mother is raped by their captor, he is still being breastfed and refers to Ma's milk a lot and he has to face the truth about their situation: that there is an outside world he has not been allowed to access.

Following Jack's journey as he learns about the outside world and faces his fears is heartbreaking. As is his mother's journey of rediscovering herself and readjusting to the outside world as a completely different woman.

Room is thrilling and a book that lingers in your mind. It's a harrowing thought to know that situations like these do happen. But it is also a captivating portrayal of the relationship between a mother and child. 

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