Search This Blog

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Book Review: Room

The premise behind Room is creepy and unnerving.  Emma Donoghue has created a world inside a garden shed – the only world 5-year-old Jack knows.  Jack cannot comprehend that he was born in captivity after his mother was abducted and locked in a cramped space for seven years.  The story was disturbing and believable in its own right, but more so since it was - coincidentally – released just after the discovery of Jaycee Lee Duggard who lived through a similar, harrowing, affair.

It may seem annoying to read 300 pages in the voice of the 5-year-old narrator, but Donoghue manages to capture the language of a child as they actually sound, not as we imitate them.  A child born into these strange conditions would have a completely different outlook than anyone who had actually seen the real world.  This made the narrative voice unique and innocent as opposed to irritating.

The first half of the novel is set within Room where Ma has built a universe for Jack out of her intense love for him.  When you see it from Jack’s point of view, it is easy to understand how he doesn’t find anything odd.  It seems like a real childhood, just smaller.  The second half focuses on life after their escape where mother, son, and reunited family re-adjust to life.  In this post-escape life, some of their behaviors are infuriating.  I caught myself thinking things like “Grandma should not act that way towards Jack – doesn’t she understand what he’s been through?!”  But of course, nobody understands what they have been through and as the author shows, each person would react differently.

Creepy, yes, but well worth the palpitation. 

4.5 out of 5 stars

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts with Thumbnails