Room: a Novel by Emma Donoghue

Jack is five years old.  Ma is doing the best she can to raise him well despite the fact that she is a single parent — and, you know, the fact that she and Jack are being imprisoned in an impenetrable fortress masquerading as a garden shed in her abductor’s backyard.  As far as Jack knows, Room is the only place that is real, everything in TV is just pretend, Old Nick is just the guy who brings them their food and supplies, and the bed creaking during his nightly visits is merely the bed creaking.  Ma loves Jack more than anything in the world, and she knows everything, so strange things like getting into Wardrobe before Old Nick comes in are not questioned.  It’s just the way it has to be.

Needless to say, this was a really tough audiobook to listen to.  Not only because I am a youngish woman who doesn’t necessarily want to reflect on the fact that I could have suffered a similar fate, but also because I have a son who is about the same age as Jack.  And while some people might find this story too disturbing to read/listen to, I was simply intrigued by Ma’s maternal instincts and ability to to fabricate enough of a fantasy to give Jack a relatively happy/normal childhood [under the circumstances].  I was also impressed with the decision to narrate the story from Jack’s perspective.  Simply ingenious!  It helped to provide a little distance from the horrors of Jack and Ma’s reality while providing enough information for readers to know what is really going on.  If you enjoyed/were intrigued by Living Dead Girl, this is another book you should consider.

Happy Reading!

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2 responses to “Room: a Novel by Emma Donoghue

  1. Thanks for sharing this book. I agree it sounds difficult to listen to and it also seems a bit advanced for tweens. Sad that this reflects real life at times.

  2. I would have to agree — this is probably more of an “older teens” kind of book.

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