Room by Emma Donoghue

Janessa’s Pick:

(Little, Brown and Company, September 2010)


First of all, this book is not for the faint of heart. It’s a marvellous book, but if you prefer your books to contain lighter themes, then perhaps this book isn’t for you.

Jack, who narrates the book, is really excited for his fifth birthday. He and Ma live in “Room”, which contains a small kitchen, a bed, a TV, a bathtub, and a dresser. It also has a keypad/lock that has kept Ma in there for the past seven years. Old Nick is the only one that knows those codes.

Once I got into this book I couldn’t put it down. The pages just flew by. Jack narrating the book serves to darken the tone even further when you realize that he has never left Room. Even just the way he describes Old Nick’s actions because of his naivety and innocence can be deeply disturbing. The writing is very well-done and very believable. There was never a disconnection from the story when I realized, “Oh, this is just some lady writing.” No, it really felt as if Jack was the one writing. There’s something about the irrationality in his character that makes him feel so real.

This is a book I could never stop recommending, provided you can handle darker books.

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