To five-year-old Jack, Room is the entire world. It’s where he was born and where he and his Ma eat and play and learn. At night, Ma puts him safely to sleep in the wardrobe, in case Old Nick comes.I first discovered Emma Donoghue when I read her historical fiction novel Slammerkin a few years ago and really enjoyed it. Since then I have been collecting her books, but not actually reading them. Then, this one came out and caught my attention. It works for the R.I.P. reading challenge and book bloggers that I trust have been saying good things about it. I decided to finally read something else by Donoghue and see if Slammerkin was it, or if I was going to enjoy all her books. Both books are by Donoghue and both were really well written. Other than that, though, there is really nothing similar about the books. It amazes me when authors can write so many entirely different types of books and manage to write them all well.
Room is home to Jack, but to Ma, it’s the prison where Old Nick has kept her for seven years, since she was nineteen. Through ingenuity and determination, Ma has created a life for herself and her son, but she knows it’s not enough for either of them. Jack’s curiosity is building alongside Ma’s desperation -- and Room can’t contain either of them for much longer...
Told entirely in the inventive, often funny voice of Jack, Room is a celebration of the resilient bond between parent and child, and a brilliantly executed novel about a journey from one world to another.
Room is told from the viewpoint of 5-year-old Jack. Jack has spent his entire life in Room and to him that is the entire world. Ma, though, knows better and has spent the past 7 years as a prisoner to the man that Jack calls Old Nick. Not knowing how to handle the situation any differently, Ma tells Jack that everything that happens on television is only TV. She wants him to not know what he is missing out on, but eventually he has to get older and more curious about the world. Then, she is faced with the decision to either continue telling him the elaborate lies or to finally let him in on the fact that there is really a large world out there. When he finds out he doesn't believe her at first. This is a lot for a child to take in, but Ma is tired of her captivity and needs to find a way to finally escape. In order to do this, though, she needs Jack's help.
For those of you that read my blog, you will know that I am not always a big fan of young narrators. So, first up I am going to admit that the 5-year-old angle drove me crazy sometimes. Yes, he was cute and yes, he was funny, but he got on my nerves sometimes. This was my main problem with the book. I had to keep getting passed it in order to enjoy the book. This is me, though, and I want to say that I did like the book a lot despite the fact that I wasn't always a big fan of the narrator. This book was actually a page turner. I finished it in one sitting and for the most part, loved every minute of it. Emma Donoghue is such a great author and she knows how to use every word. Even if I wasn't a big fan of Jack at times, she did a really really good job of capturing what it would be like for a 5-year-old to grow up in isolation and then be transported to the 'real' world. I really felt like it was believable the entire time.
I think I will try and leave something to the imagination and not say anymore about the book. It isn't a page turner if you have read a review that tells you everything that happens in the book.
Thanks to Harper Collins Canada for sending me a copy of this book!
This book counts for the R.I.P. V challenge.