ROOM, Emma Donoghue


When I tell her what I’m thinking and she tells me what she’s thinking, our each ideas jumping into the other’s head, like coulouring blue crayon on top of yellow that makes green.

As a travelling student on a student budget I find I don’t often get to justify buying the newest released, most topical books (this is where being close to EPL would really be handy), and I often buy ebook versions of novels that were really popular one or two years ago.  I got Room by Emma Donoghue as a total steal on Kobo (that doesn’t happen often anymore it seems) and I was totally pumped to be able to read this book before I have a chance to see the movie when it’s released this year.

I knew when I first heard about the premise for Room that it is a book that must be read in addition to seen as a film. It is narrated by five year-old Jack who lives in what he calls “Room,” what he believes to be the whole world, with his mother, who he calls Ma. A man named “Old Nick” delivers food and “Sundaytreats” to “Room” for Ma and Jack, but otherwise Ma and Jack are completely alone, a victim of kidnapping and her child conceived through the insidious circumstances.

I am often very leery of narration by child characters, mainly because I can’t imagine it ever being done perfectly enough to be believable, but Emma Donoghue really delivers a fantastic narrative through Jack’s eyes. Jack is also a child of extraordinary circumstances; his ability to articulate, read and write well is easily explained by his mother’s perseverance to teach him everything she can with all the time spent in “Room” alone together.

I can’t even begin to imagine what sort of headspace Emma Donoghue had to take on in order to write from Jack’s perspective and imagine the details of the unthinkable realities of those circumstances. It’s really quite incredible, at times hitting me a little too close.

I read Room on the train yesterday from Birmingham to London and on the way back.  There were times where either the motion of the train or the details in the book, I wasn’t always sure which, made me incredibly anxious and nauseous. At the same time I was never happier for such freedom.

Books read: 4

If you’re interested, I’m including here the trailer, which will likely make you cry.



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