Review: Room by Emma Donoghue


☆☆➹⁀☆ 4 stars☆➹⁀☆☆


What it’s about:

To five-year-old Jack, Room is the entire world. It is where he was born and grew up; it’s where he lives with his Ma as they learn and read and eat and sleep and play. At night, his Ma shuts him safely in the wardrobe, where he is meant to be asleep when Old Nick visits.

Room is home to Jack, but to Ma, it is the prison where Old Nick has held her captive for seven years. Through determination, ingenuity, and fierce motherly love, Ma has created a life for Jack. But she knows it’s not enough…not for her or for him. She devises a bold escape plan, one that relies on her young son’s bravery and a lot of luck. What she does not realize is just how unprepared she is for the plan to actually work.

Told entirely in the language of the energetic, pragmatic five-year-old Jack, Room is a celebration of resilience and the limitless bond between parent and child, a brilliantly executed novel about what it means to journey from one world to another


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Review from Frannie:

Room is a terribly troubling and emotionally wrenching novel that is narrated through the perspective of a five year old boy, Jack, who has been kept in captivity since birth.

For the first five years of his life, his only interactions and verbal communication are with his mother, Ma; he believes that the entirety of life is limited to just one room. The story evokes the deepest sense of despair and hopelessness that a person could image.

Thankfully, Jack’s innocence offers a light at the end of the tunnel and hope to his mother, who was kidnapped in her teens and impregnated by her captor. Throughout the story, many horrific things happen to Ma, but she shelters Jack as much as possible. As a result, Jack’s retelling of events is softened by his naivety and childlike outlook.

The love, devotion and cunning ingenuity of Ma is remarkable, and the son’s resilience is astounding.  Scary, funny and heartfelt, the story is truly a love story between a parent and her child, and a commitment to unconditional love.  The evolution of their love and trust for one another is inspiring.  You will never look at your child the same way again.

I highly recommend it.


About the Author:  Emma Donoghue was born in Dublin in 1969 and is an accomplished writer of contemporary and historical fiction.  She has written 12 other novels, including  Slammerkin, Frog Music, Astray and many more.  Find out more about Emma on her website:



Frances Larose is the CEO of PR Magic, a marketing firm in SF:

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