By: Emma Donoghue
Cleanliness (See “About” for scale): Yuck (2+ curse words. Other content to consider: birth, stillbirth, abortion, breastfeeding, multiple mentions of private parts, mention of rape, implication of sex, kidnapping, and implied attempted suicide.)
“To five-year-old Jack, Room is the world….”
This is such a powerful story. It’s pure fiction, but shows the true, dark reality of humanity. I wish with all my heart that it wasn’t even close to real life.
Room shows the impact of being held captive and of being raised in captivity in a very unique way — from five-year-old Jack’s point of view. At first, I found it a little difficult to read. A five-year-old is definitely not a wonderful narrator. After a little while, I found myself getting used to his way of wording things. The best way to describe this style is reading a little kid’s diary. I liked his personification of his favorite things (like Meltedy Spoon, Room, Remote, etc.).
I was so impressed at how the author could convey a point so well to the reader while the narrator didn’t understand what was happening. It was so unique and made the story so much more sad. Although Jack didn’t know anything was wrong with his world, the reader could see Ma’s distress.
The little details were very good. Even the games they played held meaning that Jack didn’t understand (games with the keypad for the door and yelling only on weekdays).
[Spoilers in this paragraph!] I really didn’t expect only half of the book to be in Room. I assumed that the whole story would be about them escaping. But reading about them adjusting to normal life was so, so interesting. The author showed the pain and PTSD very well; but you could also see the progression in Jack and the healing that began.
Room is a very stressful and just plain emotional read. I couldn’t put it down. I would recommend it, but make sure you know what kind of story you are going into.