Room by Emma Donoghue

Publication Date: September 13, 2010
Publisher: Little Brown and Company
Rating: ★★★★★

To five-year-old Jack, Room is the entire world. It is where he was born and grew up; it’s where he lives with his Ma as they learn and read and eat and sleep and play. At night, his Ma shuts him safely in the wardrobe, where he is meant to be asleep when Old Nick visits. Room is home to Jack, but to Ma, it is the prison where Old Nick has held her captive for seven years. Through determination, ingenuity, and fierce motherly love, Ma has created a life for Jack. But she knows it’s not enough…not for her or for him. She devises a bold escape plan, one that relies on her young son’s bravery and a lot of luck. What she does not realize is just how unprepared she is for the plan to actually work. Told entirely in the language of the energetic, pragmatic five-year-old Jack, Room is a celebration of resilience and the limitless bond between parent and child, a brilliantly executed novel about what it means to journey from one world to another.


I cried a lot reading this book. I am naturally an emotional mess when something sad happens, but this book was especially heavy in the sense of dread and protectiveness. Jack is a little five year old boy who has never left this little room in his entire life. The same story for the boy’s mother for the last seven years. They eat, sleep, and bathe in this little room. I’ve wanted to kill characters in books before, but oh my god, I never wanted to kill one more in my life than I did him. Jack is Old Nick’s son, and ‘Ma’s’ kidnapper. I can guarantee that you will want to kill him too when you read about the things he has done to this boy’s mother and him.

The story is absolutely beautiful when you get to see Jack’s imagination run wild. He makes light of his situation, and you get to see how beautiful he makes his life in his mind. I would recommend this book to anyone who thinks that they can handle it. It does get very heavy emotionally.

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