Normally, this is the kind of book that I wouldn’t have picked up off the shelf. Honestly, chances are I wouldn’t have even seen it on the shelf, it just would have blended into the background. Not because the cover isn’t gorgeous (because it is), but simply because this isn’t my kind of book really. But, the Coles in London that I went to had many of their fiction genres mashed together, and as a result, I came across Room.
I think everyone, by this point, has at least heard of the film. Everyone is simply raving about it, and its four Oscar nominations for Best Picture, Directing, Adapted Screenplay, and Actress in a Leading Role, the latter of which Brie Larson won. It was for the amazing reviews that I initially picked up the book to see what exactly it was about. And I knew right then and there that I was going to adore it.
We live with our two main characters, Jack and Ma, in their world of Room. Jack is a five year old boy, born and raised in Room, and to him, its the only thing that’s ever existed. Outside is only on TV, it isn’t real. But to Ma, Room has been her prison for seven years, the place where she has been held since she was nineteen years old. Amazingly, she has been able to create a life for Jack, keeping him healthy and happy. But this eleven by eleven foot Room can’t hold them forever, can it?
This story is absolutely riveting, and will have you on the edge of your seat for its entirety. Nail-bitingly terrifying, Emma Donoghue manages to both break and warm your heart on every page. You’ll be shaking from anger and fear, and crying from sadness and joy. But I have to warn you, this book will keep you up reading until 3 in the morning, so kids, don’t read this on a school night.
Honestly, this is one of the best books I have ever read. Normally, I wouldn’t be able to stand a novel told from a five year old’s perspective, but Donoghue does it wonderfully, skillfully perfecting the balance between believability and likeability. At times, particularly at the beginning of the novel, its easy to see it from Ma’s perspective rather than Jack’s, even though it’s told from his point of view. But as time goes on, you become so sucked into his world and mindset, you understand his thought process and emotions more than you would have ever thought you could.
A heart wrenching novel that will keep you up at night and stay with you long after you’ve put it down, Room I will gladly give five stars to, and recommend to anyone who loves a good read.