Saturday, September 10, 2011


You've probably heard of Emma Donoghue's Room at some point in the last year. It made a huge splash, was an international bestseller and one of the top ten books of the year on almost everybody's list. I finally got around to reading it.

Room is the story of Jack, a five year old boy, and Ma, who live in a twelve by twelve room. For Jack, it's the only thing he's ever known and is thus, the whole world. To him, Outer Space is beyond Room. But for Ma, who's only been there seven years, it's a prison.

For those of you already turned off by the idea of a story about something so horrible, there are several reasons that you should try it anyway.

-It's told from Jack's point of view, so his lack of understanding softens the situation.

-She's created a really unique character and voice with Jack- he's still little, and doesn't understand a lot of what goes on around him because Ma has spared him an explanation, but he's also incredibly bright and articulate for his age, because Ma has the time to teach him everything she knows.

-SPOILER ALERT- but I don't think it will ruin the book for you, especially if you have reservations about reading it:

They get out. Only the first half of the book is spent in Room.

Finally, overall, it's just really interesting. Gripping, actually.
Because it's the only thing he knows, it's just as hard for Jack to leave Room as it is for Ma to stay. It creates a thick tension, and lots of interesting situations as they try to adapt to a society filled with other people, when for so long, Jack's whole life, it's just been the two of them.

I flew through it, and had a really hard time finding a good spot to put it down at night.

I highly recommend it, if you're looking for something thought provoking, unique, and very well written. 

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