Room

Room - Emma Donoghue

Room is all five-year-old Jack has known his entire life. It's where he lives with Ma who is visited some nights by Old Nick. Jack has to stay in the wardrobe during those times. He doesn't realizes there's a world outside and that the things he sees on the TV are real. He also doesn't realize that Ma has been held captive here for the past 7 years by Old Nick. She loves her son and has protected him as much as possible, but she's determined to escape with him and be free. But just because they're free doesn't mean everything will be easy on the outside.

 

Room is told from the perspective on Jack, which is an interesting choice for a topic so dark. But it ended up working really well. Jack's unique perspective into a world that made perfect sense to him really upped the creepiness of the situation while simultaneously keeping the story on the lighter side. I thought the author did a great job of capturing the voice of a child.

 

I listened to this one as an audiobook, and the narrator for Jack was fantastic. I think she was a large part of why this book worked for me. I'm not sure I would have enjoyed it as much if I had read it rather than listened.

 

The relationship between Ma and Jack was wonderfully written. This book was largely about the love the two of them had for each other that helped both of them through the hard times. We never learn Ma's name since this is told from Jack's perspective, but we do see how fierce, brave, and protective she is, even if Jack doesn't understand all that yet. Jack became the bright spot in a terrible part of her life and gave her the courage and resolve to survive.

 

Despite how unsettling the book could get at times, it made me smile quite a bit. Jack made for a fun, if unreliable, narrator, and his and Ma's love for one another was heartwarming.