What people are saying about Room
Emma Donoghue's stunning novel Room has been getting some amazing reviews, and who are we to argue?
"As a life-affirming fable of parent-child love, and an antidote to the prurience of so much crime fiction, it's a triumph, and deserves to be a hit." Daily Telegraph
"Emma Donoghue has written a heartbreaking, heart-racing unnerving novel." Waterstone's Books Quarterly
"With echoes of the Josef Fritzl case and touted as the most controversial novel of the summer, this book will...have you turning the pages until the wee hours" Grazia
"Part childhood adventure story, part adult thriller, Room is above all the most vivid, radiant and beautiful expression of maternal love I have ever read. Emma Donoghue has stared into the abyss, honoured her sources and returned with the literary equivalent of a great Madonna and Child. This book will break your heart." The Irish Times
"It takes a consummate writer to make us marvel at the mundane. Beckett's Waiting for Godot did it, of course. So did Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, set in a 1950s Siberian labour camp. Emma Donoghue does it so spectacularly that we are taken by surprise when, in the middle of the novel, resourceful Ma's escape plans swing into action. The reader hurries on partly because Jack is so masterful a creation. Like John Boyne's Bruno in The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, he knows more than he understands. And the dramatic irony heightens the poignancy of the tale as it progresses into the third section, which deals with life after abduction." The Irish Independent
"On one level a simple story about and extreme situation, it is also a novel in the tradition ofGulliver's Travels, with Jack's perspective allowing Donoghue to hold the adult world up to an unfamiliar type of scrutiny" The Sunday Times
"The story is told, with unsurpassed panache...Room will certainly be much garlanded, and it will deserve every prize it gets. Fantastic - but deeply, deeply disturbing." AN Wilson - Readers Digest
"Room is likely to attract comparisons with Alice Sebold's The Lovely Bones and it deserves equal success...In the hands of a lesser author, Room could have felt both exploitative and sensationalist thanks to its subject matter. Instead, it makes the reader think about the importance of freedom and its costs. Above all though, it is a novel about the love between a mother and her child. Which is why, despite its darkest of settings, Room is an affecting and uplifting read." Evening Standard
"An absolute gem of a book! By turns poignant, emotional and yet with a fundamental humanity that good things can come out of the worst experiences...Donoghue's masterly handling of Jack's character was honest and believable throughout...I sincerely hope that this book makes the shortlist for its brave individuality and also its very sensitive handling of events that happen in real life. A wonderful novel." Jackie, Waterstones Cheltenham
'I've never read a more heart-burstingly, gut wrenchingly compassionate novel . . . As for sweet, bright, funny Jack, I wanted to scoop him up out of the novel and never let him go. In him,.Donoghue has created 21st-century fiction's most uniquely loveable voice. She deserves to win this year's Man Booker Prize.' Daily Mail
'Room is a fascinating, engagingly written account of a child-parent relationship. Wider implications are that human beings need room of their own to remain true to themselves.'
'extraordinary power of Donoghue;s utterly gripping story which, although not essentially just hers, has never been told in such a way before.' Mirror Book of the Week ****
'In filling this book with things that are both truly horrific and rather lovely, Emma Donoghue has achieved a work that is deeply unsettling on every level. It is a strange paradox that a book about imprisonment and torture should have become an arean for discussing the proper care and love of children. I think I am glad to have read it.' Financial Times
'Room manages to tell a compelling story without disturbing this delicate - and in today's prurient televised times - almost impossible balance.' Times Literary Supplement
'What saves this beautifully nuanced book from being in any way a voyeuristic reaction to true crime is less the descriptions of captivity than the inevitably changing nature of the child / parent relationship, which Donoghue explores here so minutely, recognizably and exultantly.' Sunday Telegraph
'Not many writers, though, would have had the courage, or the ability, to visit this particular place and produce such a startlingly original and moving piece of work . . . it is a testament to Donoghue's skill how quickly that voice becomes acceptable, then endearing and finally utterly compelling, as compelling as the murdered young girl who narrated Alice Sebold's The Lovely bones. In the best novels, every word matters. And in the very best, every word not only matters, it helps transform how we see the world around us. Elisabeth Fritzl's case altered for many of us our view of the world. Donoghue's book has done exactly the same thing. It is a tremendous achievement.' Scotsman
'Although Room is entirely told from Jack's viewpoint, we learn much about Ma. As in Cormac McCarthy's The Road, we see how the love of a child in adversity can make a hero of an ordinary person. . . . [an] intense and absorbing novel . . . So closely has Emma Donoghue made us identify with her characters that, through Jack's eyes, we can see our own world made new.' Literary Review
'Donoghue focuses on Jack's transition and journey with aplomb.' Catholic Herald
We'd love to know what you thought of Room, so tell us by leaving a comment below or by emailing us with your reviews.