Posted by Teddyrose@1 on November 2, 2010
Posted in Books Read in 2010 • Emma Donoghue |
Right after Jack turns 5 years old, the world as he know it starts to change. He always thought that the room that his ma and him lived in was the whole world. He’s never been outside and doesn’t even know it exists. Ma told Jack that everything on television was pretend.
Jack is the narrator of the story and as it unfolds he and the reader slowly learn the truth. His Ma was kidnapped off of her college campus at the age of 19, by Old Nick. She was taken to the room, which is a converted from garden shed into a prison and she was repeatedly raped. She has been there for 7 years and gave birth to Jack while there, with no assistance.
Ma did everything she could to protect Jack from Old Nick and the truth. She tried to give Jack as normal a life as possible within the confines of the room. Each day of the week they have a routine which includes reading, writing, arithmetic, and even physical education. However, with Jack growing up it was time to reveal the truth. Room was not going to be big enough for a growing Jack for much longer.
It took a bit of time for me to get use to Jack as the narrator. He talked about the room and just about everything in it as if they were people. He knew a big vocabulary for his age however, had poor grammar, that of a 5 year old boy. Jack said, “Eggsnake is more longer than all around Room, we’ve been making him since I was three, he lives in Under Bed all coiled up keeping us safe.”
I wasn’t sure at first if I would be able to look beyond Jack’s poor grammar and enjoy the story. However, I was able to and really enjoyed the book, in an uncomfortable sort of way. The subject matter was uncomfortable and my heart ached for both Ma and Jack. By the time I was finished reading ‘Room’, I didn’t want it to end.
I recently saw Emma Donoghue at the 23 Vancouver International Writers and Readers Festival. You can read my coverage of it and my question to Ms. Donoghue, with her response, here
Also reviewed by:
Thoughts of Joy
The Written World
Farm Lane Books
A Bookworm’s World
Shhh I’m Reading…
Did you review this book as well? Leave a link in the comments and I will post it.
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