Mar 20, 2011

Room by Emma Donoghue

Sunday Snooze 3/20/2011
Writers love to read. That's just a fact, or at least it should be. You know those days where in reality you're in the comfort of your own bed, feeling lazy, yet content, but your mind is lost in a book, loving and grieving alongside the main character, in a distant world that might not even exist in our dimension. Sunday Snooze is full of book reviews to help you find those books that take you away.
Room by Emma Donoghue

Room tells the tragic tale of a boy and his Ma's imprisonment in a 12 by 12 foot space of a shed in the backyard of a kidnapping rapist. However, this graphic and malevolent story outline is not the premise of the book. The importance of Room is to detail the act of breaking free, being different, and growing up.
The book attempts to teach people how to break free from those who oppress them and how to grow up with the title of a mother and equally the title of a child. The five year-old narrator, Jack, enlightens the readers, and makes them fall in love with him in this adventure of learning to live.
 is one of my favorite books simply because of Jack's voice. By watching the book trailer, most people are usually hooked – if they are not, I really cannot understand why. He gets me every time.

Jack is just too easy to fall in love with. The very first line, where Jack says, “I was four last night going to sleep in Wardrobe, but when I wake up in Bed in the dark I changed to five, abracadabra,” (3) is simply precious. He didn't even say anything of much importance, and I'm awe-ing over him. Everything Jack says is coded in adorable childish language, but intertwined with surprisingly intelligent remarks. He turns the calamity into an epidemic of juvenile fun and play. 

Donoghue did an excellent job in her writing style of perspective and voice, a feat I am quite envious of. First, the use of perspective is genius - who thinks to designate the role of narrator to a five year-old? I love it. From this angle, the reader can see two perspectives, Jack's sense of the world, and a glimpse into the reality of the world without it being bluntly stated. It's like a puzzle of what's actually happening, forcing the reader to decipher and compare outlooks. Jack's voice, what I've cooed over in the last paragraph, is so definitive  and unique that there can never be another character just like him. This special voice makes him memorable, and that's what a writer wants when telling a story.

Room is one of the few books that I have read and been unable to put down. After reading the first half in about two days, I came home from school and read the second half in one sitting. I was easily captured into the story and didn't want to leave it. The book pulled my heart strings so tight that I had to keep reading just to find out what was going to happen.

In addition to being an international bestseller, Room has had quite a few noteworthy achievements including winning the Commonwealth Writers Prize regional prize (Caribbean and Canada) and being short listed for the Man Booker Prize.

If you want more information on this amazing novel, check out
Room's interactive website which is just really cool in itself. Now go fall in love with five year-old Jack and enjoy this book!


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