Published - September 13, 2010
Author - Emma Donoghue
Genres - Literary fiction, Novel
Awards - Goodreads Choice Awards Best Fiction
Source - Bough via The Book People
I don't know where to start with this book......I'm aware that many people love this book and cant rate it highly enough but my thoughts are very mixed. On Goodreads I rated this book 2/5★. There will probably be a couple of spoilers in this review, so if you have yet to read this book I advise you don't read any further.
This book is written from the view of Jack a 5 year old boy, beginning to end. Now don't get me wrong this made it very hard hitting and very emotional but at the same time i found this very difficult to read and for me the story didn't flow as well as it should. Jack and his 'Ma' live in a 'Room', he has lived there all his life and everything they need is in this room. At this point it it very obvious that they have been kidnapped and are living here against their will.
As the story develops we learn more about the main character, Jack, Ma and 'Old Nick' (the man who has been keeping them in this room with no escape). Jack doesn't know any better and doesn't mind staying in the 'Room' but 'Ma' is desperate to escape, which is no wonder after we learn that 'Old Nick' comes into the room at nights, while Jack is sleeping in the wardrobe (or is at least meant to be), and rapes 'Ma'.
Both Jack and 'Ma' come up with a plan to say that Jack is really ill and needs to be taken to the hospital, so Jack has fish smeared all over him and isn't allowed to wash to make sure it genuinely looks and smells like he is really ill. So when 'Old Nick' comes in later on that night he decides that all Jack needs is some strong medicine from the pharmacy. 'Old Nick' does not return with any medicine, so 'Ma' decides to wrap Jack in the rug and when 'Old Nick' returns she says that Jack is dead, and he has to bury him but not in the back garden. The plan works and Jack manages to tell people that his 'Ma' is back at the 'Room'. She then is rescued thanks to Jack's bravery.
The rest of the book could have been wrapped up a lot sooner than it was. It basically shows the struggles Jack and 'Ma' have on the outside world and finishes with them visiting 'Room' one last time.
My main likes of this book were:
- The book was split in to 4 chapters, which made it clear to identify the different stages it went through.
- All the characters were made to seem very real to the reader. They were explained in great detail giving the reader a vivid image.
- The description on their 'Room' was done with accuracy and precision, again giving the reader a very clear mental image.
My main dislikes of the book were:
- Jack talking about his penis 'standing up' in the mornings - just no need for this in my opinion!
- The book for me was dragged out when the escaped, almost like the author didn't know where to go with the storyline.
- The book being narrated by a five year old the whole way though. I just found this hard going to read.
I know that loads of people love this book but it just wasn't up my street. Please don't be offended if you like this book, these are just my opinions.
Please don't hesitate to comment if you have a view on this book, I'm always interested to see what other think.
Thanks for reading,
BookishReadables aka Claire :)