Room: A Novel by Emma Donoghue

Reposting this review because Room is the Kindle Daily Deal on Jan 5 and on sale for $2.99 for kindle. (Only on sale on Jan 5).

Room: A NovelRating: 4 Stars

Imagine your mother was kidnapped before you were born and was forced to live as a prisoner in an 11 x 11 ft shed (the “Room”). Imagine that you were born in the Room and had never seen the world beyond its four walls. Finally, imagine at the age of 5 you are asked to explain what life is like living in the Room. That is what this book is about.

It is written from the perspective of a 5 year old, which makes the storytelling so compelling. Kids already have a difficult time understanding certain nuances and details in life that we adults take for granted. But even more so for Jack, who only knows the outside world from what he sees on TV and what Old Nick, his mother’s captor, brings to them for “Sundaytreat.” Here’s the first line from the book:

Today I’m five. I was four last night going to sleep in Wardrobe, but when I wake up in Bed in the dark I’m changed to five, abracadabra. Before that I was three, then two, then one, then zero. ‘Was I minus numbers?”

I wouldn’t describe the writing as babytalk. It’s fiveyearoldtalk. At first, it’s difficult to get your bearings on exactly what Jack is talking about or trying to describe to you, but, as with any five year old, over time you learn to understand Jack’s language.

I don’t want to overemphasize the fiveyearoldtalk. That’s just the style of the writing, and you get used to it pretty quickly. The story itself is what hooks you right from the beginning. How does a mother raise a child in an 11 x 11 ft room? How do you explain TV to a child who has never seen the real world? Who is Old Nick, and why did he kidnap Ma?

I’m not usually a fan of fiction, but this book is really fantastic.

Purchase Links: HardcoverPaperbackKindle Audiobook

One Comment

Thanks for this review. I’ve been on the fence about reading it, but you convinced me.

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