Thursday, December 13, 2012

Book Review: Room

Room by Emma Dnoghue

Let me begin by saying the only thing I thought I knew about this book before I began reading was that it was about a Mom and her son and how she created a world for him in a small 12x12 room. I made a lot of assumptions based on that, but pretty much they were all wrong, except the one about the book being great! It was completely wonderful! That being said, had I read a complete plot synopsis prior to reading the book, I may have not picked it up. So, I don't want to deter anyone from reading it because it is so great, so I promise not to give too much away during my review!

This book opens on "Ma" and "Jack" living in Room and it's Jack's fifth birthday. That's really all I can say about the plot without saying too much because after that it's all surprise after twist after turn. Room is where Jack was born and is his, his world. He's never left, which is totally okay with him. Ma, however, came into Room under duress and has been there for 7 years, and has never left either, and she wants out. 

Let me interject my thoughts here and say learning about the circumstances around their living in Room and what Room actually is was when I became completely hooked. Then later on, as they worked on and executed their potential "Great Escape" from Room was when I could hardly put the book down to go to sleep. I finished the book in only 4 days in only a couple dedicated hours each day, and I was always eager to pick it up again to see what was going to happen next or how Ma and Jack would rise to their next challenge. Completely fascinating plot and writing!

Let me talk for just a minute about the incredible writing. Jack, the 5-year old, narrates the entire story. I don't know of another book that is so dedicated to such a young narrator, especially with such a unique and potentially complex story. Being in this 5-year old's head, albeit a very intelligent 5-year old, through this incredible journey made this book probably the best novel I've read in quite sometime. It read like a memoir written by a 5-year old, which I think is a great credit to the author Emma Donoghue!

If I haven't tickled your curiosity enough yet to check this out from your local library or even buy it (I may just do that), then let me just give my final plea: read this book! It will change the way you look at the world around least it did for me!

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ 

PS Some of the themes of this book are a bit intense, but since it's written from a child's perspective there's a naivety  and innocence that makes those themes very manageable for the reader. That being said, some people prefer more "fluff" reads and this book certainly is not "fluff".


Dani and Dave said...

I read the back of the book and thought it looked very interesting. But I couldn't get past the first few pages because the writing style was distracting and a little irritating. I know you disagree with that, but if you had felt THAT way, would you think that the plot made up for the reading style or would you not recommend it to me?

Rachel said...

Hmmm...if I didn't like the writing style I probably wouldn't recommend it even though the plot was awesome because for me the two are very connected. The writing style stays consistent through the entire book, and I think it supports the themes within the plot -- so you probably wouldn't enjoy the rest of the book at all.