Room by Emma Donoghue 

I know I’m kind of late to the party on this book. Everyone and their dog seems to be reading this book– and they should be. It definitely lives up to the hype.

Room is the story of a woman abducted and imprisoned at age 19. She has Jack, her son, and raises him in the one-room cell where she’s kept. Shortly after Jack’s fifth birthday, they escape, and both she and Jack must learn to navigate the world Outside. Told entirely from Jack’s point-of-view, Donoghue relates a story of incredible pain, beauty, love, and hope.

I can’t say anything better than either The Guardian or The New York Times. Like The Guardian, I agree that Donoghue’s narrative voice doesn’t sound very American. I cordially disagree with the Times, though, in thinking that Donoghue should have gone deeper into some of the messy issues surrounding Jack’s relationship with his Ma. I felt like the author gave enough clues about that any careful reader would be able to figure such things out independently. Show, don’t tell, right?

This book left me raw. A truly superb piece of writing. Definitely worth reading.


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