Thursday, July 29, 2010

Book Review: Room by Emma Donaghue

I'm nervous to even write this review because I'm afraid I won't be able to express how amazing Room by Emma Donaghue is.  I've been thinking about it non-stop since I started it Monday night.  Work has been torture this week because all I wanted to do was to go home and keep reading.  But at the same time I didn't want to keep reading because that meant it would be over.  I'm still feeling a little mopey over the fact that I finished it and had to leave the characters.  I know I can re-read it, but it's not quite the same as experiencing a really great novel for the first time.

Room is the story of a boy named Jack and his relationship with his Ma, as told by Jack.  Jack is five years old and was born in Room.  He has never left Room because of Old Nick, who kidnapped Jack's Ma and has locked her in Room for the past seven years.  Not only does the author capture the voice of a five year old in an incredibly accurate way, but she stays consistent with his voice throughout the entire book.  This is the best book I've read with a child narrator.  There was never a moment when his voice was too young or too old.  Even better, Jack is completely innocent in so many ways that it would be difficult to remain consistent, but the author accomplishes it flawlessly.  Because Jack has never been outside of Room, he doesn't know about grass, wind, stairs, and a million other things.  The author maintains such a consistency with Jack's voice that the story is never broken. 

The relationship between Jack and Ma is so precious.  It was heartbreaking and beautiful and so very real.  Every character was utterly believable.  I can't say enough about how amazing this book is.  It will be released in September and I recommend that you be waiting at the bookstore on the morning of the 14th to buy it and read immediately.  Don't even go home first.  Definitely the best book I've read all year.   I'm honored to have the opportunity to review it for the publisher.


  1. I just finished this one as well. I, too, thought it was amazing. In the beginning, I was not sure exactly what was going on, but very shortly I was with Jack and his Ma in Room. And so proud of Jack in the end!

  2. I WANT this book! Sounds amazingly intriguing! I love a book that is impossible to put down!


  3. What a fascinating (and horrifying) concept.

    I love this: "Work has been torture this week because all I wanted to do was to go home and keep reading." Very few books can do that to me.

    Also, thank you for your specific comments on the kid narrator. Child narrators often drive me crazy, but if done right they can be very effective.

    In all, it seems this is one of those Booker longlisters that I need to find post haste. Thanks for the review.

  4. I can't wait to read this; it sounds like everyone is loving it!

  5. I'm so disappointed! I got most of the way through your review thinking "I'm putting this on hold immediately!" Only to hear you say it isn't out yet?! I'm so sad. Great review. I can't wait to read this book!

  6. Room book review.
    Thanks for writing the insightful and thoughtful article. The topic spoke to me . I am always looking to be inspired and motivated. Your article really resonated with me.

    ~~ Like an immovable tree, real love does not interfere or demand. It delights in both worship and sympathy. To have that sweet weakness aiding me, to touch providence with my hand, able to take it into my arms, as the soul is present, is to be caressed. There is no necessity for selfish human perceiving. Every part of the object is delightful and wonderful. Soul gropes for soul, and finds it. Love is looking with care, intense and fascinated. Beholding an object in thought in its absence, to hear it come, go, enjoy all its attributes, without judgments, totally accepting it, is love.~~ C.J. Good

  7. Wow, this sounds like a motivating story for sure. Look forward to it.

  8. Oooh, this one sounds very good. You have certainly made me want to read it. I will add it to my TBR list. Found you through the Book Blogger hop.

  9. I just finished this book and found your review after googling. Started reading it yesterday and kept going to the bathroom during work today to continue reading, so I had to laugh when I read that you had a similar reaction. Feel empty right now. And amazed. And moved. Wow.