Thursday, 7 January 2021

Room by Emma Donoghue


Details of the Book

No. of Pages    : 321 pages

Language         : English

From the book blurb

To five-year-old-Jack, Room is the world....

Told in the inventive, funny, and poignant voice of Jack, Room is a celebration of resilience—and a powerful story of a mother and son whose love lets them survive the impossible.

To five-year-old Jack, Room is the entire world. It is where he was born and grew up; it's where he lives with his Ma as they learn and read and eat and sleep and play. At night, his Ma shuts him safely in the wardrobe, where he is meant to be asleep when Old Nick visits.

Room is home to Jack, but to Ma, it is the prison where Old Nick has held her captive for seven years. Through determination, ingenuity, and fierce motherly love, Ma has created a life for Jack. But she knows it's not enough ... not for her or for him. She devises a bold escape plan, one that relies on her young son's bravery and a lot of luck. What she does not realize is just how unprepared she is for the plan to actually work.

Told entirely in the language of the energetic, pragmatic five-year-old Jack, Room is a celebration of resilience and the limitless bond between parent and child, a brilliantly executed novel about what it means to journey from one world to another.


Emma Donoghue grew up in Ireland, best known for my novel, film and play ROOM, also other contemporary and historical novels and short stories, non-fiction, theatre and middle-grade novels.

What I think

Emma Donoghue’s Room is a heart-melting story of five-year-old Jack and his Ma, narrated through the eyes of Jack himself.  Ma was kidnapped when she was just nineteen years old and has been held captive by Old Nick in a 11-foot square soundproof room in the backyard for eight years. Jack has great vocabulary, is good at mathematics and knows many songs and story. He believes that the Room is not only his home, but the world itself. Of course, then there are separate planets for doctors, trees, schools, animals and all that. He loves his Ma and doesn’t imagine that there could be a possibility of other real people except for those whom he sees in a TV.

The story begins by providing a peekaboo into the daily lives of Jack and Ma. There are Phys Ed, crafts, games, stories, TV, songs and dance, and, lots of fun! The morbid reality is unraveled to us slowly as Jack learns the truth about his Ma and the kidnap. He reluctantly agrees to carry out the great escape with scave as he calls it (a word sandwich for sacredly brave because he likes word sandwiches!). The rest of the story is how their lives flip after they are freed.

The book blurb gives out the story in full. So as readers, we pretty much know what to expect. But what keeps us hooked to the book is the innocence of the narrator and the beautiful bond between Jack and his Ma.

Though the plot seems morbid and makes us expect melodrama, this books only gives happiness. Also, this book is not a tearjerker at all. Instead it is a story of celebration and hope. It is also about the insignificance of everything in the larger concept of space and universe. Though Jack is intelligent and smart – he is just a five-year-old and his innocence makes us fall in love with him.

Overall, this is a splendidly written, realistically portrayed story. Jack would simply take a piece of our hearts and I am sure that his love and innocence would never be forgotten. In fact, I so wish there are sequels to it – I am sure this boy is going to go place – all hail to the parenting of Ma.

I strongly recommend this book to everyone.



Thank you to a school friend who suggested this book. I am unable to think of a better book to start this new year!

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