Room review: what the libraries thought Part II

09 August 2010

'Unlike anything I've ever read before' Gill Burch from West Sussex libraries reviews Room.

Room by Emma Donoghue grabbed my attention from the start. It is a very imaginative book and unlike anything I have ever read before. The book starts on the day of Jack's fifth birthday - he lives in Room with his Ma. Jack comes across as a real little boy and is the narrator of the book. His character is one of the reasons I enjoyed the book so much. We see his life through his eyes and begin to understand what it must be like to live in just one small room and not to know any other life. He loves his Ma but sometimes gets cross with her, loves being read to, enjoys watching television and hates green beans. Like many mums, Ma will not let him watch too much television in case his brain turns to mush. Jack's friends are cartoon characters like Dora the Explorer and the objects in Room like Meltedy Spoon. Jack and his Ma make up many imaginative games to keep themselves occupied and the relationship between them is portrayed very well. At night Ma is visited by Old Nick while Jack sleeps in Wardrobe. Jack accepts his world and believes that only that is reality but Ma struggles more and sometimes gets tired of playing games that a five year old enjoys.

The second part of the book is what happens Outside. The emotions of both Jack and Ma are stretched - Jack longs for familiarity and Ma struggles with wanting to forget Room while realising that Jack doesn't want to forget. It is thought provoking and challenging and speaks of how they both cope with Outside and adapting to it.

I thoroughly recommend this book - it will not take you long to read but the story and thoughts it raises will stay with you a long time.

Find out more about libraries in West Sussex.