- Non Fiction
Room by Emma Donoghue
List Price: £8.99
Paperback: 412 Pages.
Published: 07 January 2011 by Picador
Edition: Main Market Ed.
Jack is five. He lives with his Ma. They live in a single, locked room. They don’t have the key.
Jack and Ma are prisoners.
Totally gripping tale
"Room" is a book about Jack and his mother. All they know is one room and the man who sometimes visits it. Jack's mother has convinced him that everything he might see outside the room or on television is not real and the room contains the only real things in the world. Then something happens and it turns out that life is more complicated than it first appears.
I don't normally like books which are narrated by children as this one is because I find that the author plays games with the reader by revealing things to us that the narrator cannot understand - the book I most disliked which was told in this way was "The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas". In this book the author has avoided this way of doing things and we only know what Jack knows and we know nothing until Jack reveals it to us. This is very clever writing and absolutely gripping. Jack's world is very carefully described to us - as there is only one of each thing it has a capital letter like Rug or Skylight and Jack has personalised many of the things and given them characters. The enormity of what has happened to Jack and his mother is only apparent as the story progresses and by then you identify so closely with this small family that you grieve with them and wish them well and cannot help but imagine how you would (or would not) cope in similar circumstances.
I was captivated by the story and the clever way in which it was told. This book reminded me very much of Chevy Steven's "Still Missing" which I also rated very highly.
An unusual book, an interesting premise, intelligent writing and a great story.
by Lou Reading
Got me reading again.
I was going through a lull with books, nothing was keeping my interest, a book was taking forever to get through, until I was told to try this and I was not dissapointed in the slightest.
About a mother and son who live in the one room, you know something is not quite right but cant work out what (as the story is told through the yes and voice of a five year old child) and as the story unfolds it is quite shocking an idea to grasp.
Not one to give spoilers but if you want something gripping, a book you will stay up late and read, a book to actually say 'YES!' too then try this, you will not be dissapointed.
by Debra Found
This was a truely different book to read. When the story starts Jack & his Ma are prisoner in a room. They are kept there by a man who kidnapped Ma 7 years previously. I won't explain where the story goes from there as I would hate to spoil anything. Suffice to say I do suggest to give it a read & find out!
The book is written by Jack, who is a 5 year old boy. The whole perspective of the book is from this point of view but I found myself interpreting things that Jack described but didn't understand. I very much enjoyed this style of narration & think this was a very clever idea. For example they have a time on weekdays when they scream as loud as they can. Jack thinks nothing of it as it is a standard part of his life but we readers know it is an attempt to attract attention & can't be done at the weekends because their captor may hear.
Ma & Jack are very well written characters. We never find out Ma's actual name as to Jack, who is writing, she is always Ma. To begin with she seems as if she is coping well but as time goes on Jack describes incidences which show us that she is very fragile. Her losses of temper, the days when she is "gone". The life that they have built in the room is well described & easy to envisage. Ma's character continues to be well described & progresses well throughout the book. She has expectations of events which are totally believeable as are her reactions to the results. The descriptions of Jack's feelings & actions are totally from his point of view & very understandable. There are other characters who are definitely less important but nonetheless believeable.
I found this book very easy to read & it flowed very well. I really struggled to put it down & had a late night read to finish it! There are one or two comments in this story which made me stop in the middle of reading & think. These cast a different point of view & made me look at things differently. This was very clever & turned this from a good book to a very good book.
I did smile & have the odd tear occasionally. However it wasn't designed to provoke exceptional emotion but rather to be thought provoking.
If you fancy reading something that isn't run of the mill then this is the book for you.