Monday, 24 January 2011

Room by Emma Donoghue


Room is the story of Jack and his mom. Together they live in a room. This room has a locked door, a skylight, a TV with Jack's friends in it, and other stuff you need for living. Jack knows that TV is not real, and so is everything else, except him and his ma. He is five years old and has never left Room.

Jack is telling us the story starting at his 5th birthday. Everything changes when he turns 5. His Ma 'unlies' that the world outside is not unreal and that they have to try to get outside. They create a plan together so Jack can get outside Room. Into the outside world.

I'd love to write the rest of the story but that would take a lot of awesome reading experience for you away, so I'll just leave the story where it is now.

The way Jack narrates the story we get an insight into the mind of child, that has never met other people, never played on a playground, never went to the shops, has never walked bare food through the grass. The way he writes about his life in Room shows the worth of love he has for his ma. And even though one might think, that this isn't a story for the tearful reader ... it is. It is a story for everyone. It's not over dramatic (although it is very exciting and tense at times) nor is it overly sentimental. It's funny and sad at the same time.

Room is one of those books one can read within a day. It's hard to put down, and it's an easy read as well (once you're used to Jack). If you have to spend a week reading on it (like I did, thanks exam time), it's a book that doesn't shut up. You keep thinking about Jack and his mom. About the changing relationship within those 5 years. About her change when she got Jack after being in Room alone for 2 years. What happens when they get out? He's never seen daylight and she just has to re-adjust. Will she still love him once she is outside?

And the most important question. How much does this novel relate to reality? Emma doesn't say anything about her inspiration for the book, but I am pretty sure it's inspired by the Fritzl case. Did you ever ask yourself what it would be like for those children? They have never seen the world. Room put those imaginations into a book. And did great work.

It's a very inspiring story. It's well written, has lovely characters and is also super interesting. So go, and get reading.

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