maandag 22 februari 2016

Emma Donoghue: Room

Hi everyone

This is a review for Emma Donoghue’s novel Room. It was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2010.
I got my copy second hand and it has 401 pages.

 “It's Jack's birthday and he's excited about turning five. Jack lives with his Ma in Room, which has a locked door and a skylight, and measures 11 feet by 11 feet. He loves watching TV but he knows that nothing he sees on screen is truly real. Until the day Ma admits that there's a world outside.”
I loved this book.

                     *  SPOILERS  *

This is such an emotional book. It took my breath away at times, it almost left me speechless, it made me tear up and it’s sweet, innocent, harsh and funny all at the same time.
There’s not much of a story; in fact, it could be summed up in a few sentences but it’s still a compelling read and I didn’t want to put it down.

Jack is so innocent. His world is tiny but it’s all he knows and Donoghue makes this feel real. He doesn’t know anything else but what they own in their Room.
Even after the escape he is still this innocent child but on a completely different planet. The questions he asks, the things he sees, how he interprets things, they are all a five-year-olds.
I do feel like this POV was inconsistent at times. Some moments he felt like an incredibly intelligent boy that has had home-schooling from a very early age but right after that he mispronounces or even makes up words. This did get on my nerves at times.

The other thing that bothered me was how the escape was written. It felt too rushed. And I know, it’s from the point of view of a child and he’s afraid but still, the escape and the planning of the escape felt too hurried.

Aside from the inconsistencies in Jack’s POV, I felt that this was a very realistic book. Ma has struggled to escape but her priority now is to protect jack and she would do anything for him. She hates Nick with a passion, but to shift his attention from Jack to her she ‘suggests’ having sex. Jack is her life and she would do anything for him.
It’s very understandable that after the escape Ma en Jack need different things. She is glad to be out of Room but Jack wants to go back because it’s the only thing he knows and he feels safe there. She wants to get out of there because it’s where her abductor kept her and abused her. Ma needs to experience life all over again while Jack needs safety and boundaries.
I thought this was wonderfully done and very realistic.  

All in all, I really enjoyed it; even though that’s a weird thing to say about a book handling abduction and rape (among other things).


Happy reading.