top of page
  • Emma Donoghue

'Room'- review

This was an incredibly moving book based on a woman trapped in a tiny shed, with her five year old son, for seven years. It was a truly captivating story which left me on the edge of my seat the whole way through. It was incredibly clever and there wasn't a part of it which I didn't enjoy, and i was very sad to finish it.

The best thing about the book was it was written from jack, the five year olds perspective. This means you get to see inside his head right from the beginning and it makes the story more heart wrenching reading what he thought about the shed, it was his whole life.

The story line is based on the life of 'Ma'(your never told the real name as that what Jack calls her) and Jack, her son's life in a small, shut up room with nothing but a tv to entertain them. They were kidnapped by a man who jack calls 'Old nick' who comes in the night. Jack doesn't understand what 'Old Nick' is doing to his ma but it is not a pleasant thought. And I have to say, if you only like very light hearted books, then this is not the book for you.

Seing insides jacks head realises what goes on in 5 year olds brain, and i think it is important to take some advice from it! Although the story was mainly just based on two characters who were constantly together, I learnt about the human race in this book, how much different ages have an affect on the way of looking at life, and how other humans can influence another so much.

It also taught me the importance of bravery, courage and trust. Although the book was based on such a horrible subject, by the end i found it uplifiting. The courage both Jack and 'ma' had was incredible.

After reading the book I also don't think I will ever be bored again! It taught me theres always something to entertain yourself, even if it is a silly game completely in your head. How Jack and his ma entertainted got through most days was so interesting.

I also thought it was so interesting as when they were in the 'room', stereo types just didn't matter. Jack never cut his hair and it was completely normal for him to wear a pony tail, without a second glimpse it was his normal form and he just wanted to be like his ma, even if she was a girl.

I went through this book like I new both characters so well, and I was routing for them the whole way through. I was always interested in what jack was saying about everything.

In the beginning of the book Jack thought the whole world was him and his ma in the room. Nothing was outside of it, and all tv was all made up. Nothing else existed. When his Ma 'unlies' as he calls it, it made me so sad that he didn't even believe her. I think this was a clever way of showing how shut off they were from everyone and everything, the whole rest of the world.

I think it was a big risk even using Jacks thoughts in five year old language. The book was written literally how he would of said it. Sentences with words the wrong way round, meanings of words taken completely literally. I loved this part of the book as you also questioned many phrases as Jack did. He was constantly catching his ma out on things like 'Spitting image' which he called 'I am the dead spit from her'

Overall, it was a completely gripping read which I will take so much from and remember for a very long time. I think it is an important read as it teaches you so much about life; humanity and life lessons.

I cried with sadness and happiness in every chapter, laughed and frowned, I felt every emotion that Jack did.

I would recommend it to people age 13/14+ it is in adult fiction but I would highly recommend it to teenagers too.

Buy it:

bottom of page