Genre: Mystery & Thriller
Length: 352 pages
Audiobook Length: 10 hours and 45 minutes
First Published: 2010
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Five-year-old Jack has lived his whole life in Room. It’s his whole world where he lives with his Ma all day long. At night, Ma shuts him up in the wardrobe for protection when Old Nick visits. What Jack doesn’t realize is that his mother doesn’t view Room as home, but as a prison where she is being held captive. Narrated from Jack’s perspective, Room hauntingly narrates unimaginable horrors witnessed through the innocence of a child.
Reading Room, I was still struck by the power of narration through the eyes of a child. The story is split into three parts: the captivity, the escape, and the transition into the world. While the horrors of the premise are unimaginable, the story doesn’t dwell on them, else it would be extremely difficult to read. Instead, Donoghue’s core message is about the transition, watching your entire world come apart, quite literally, and learning to live in the aftermath.
Held captive for years in a small shed, a woman and her precocious young son finally gain their freedom, and the boy experiences the outside world for the first time.
To five-year-old-Jack, Room is the world. . . . It’s where he was born, it’s where he and his Ma eat and sleep and play and learn. 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’s the prison where she has been held for seven years. Through her fierce love for her son, she has created a life for him in this eleven-by-eleven-foot space. But with Jack’s curiosity building alongside her own desperation, she knows that Room cannot contain either much longer.
Room is a tale at once shocking, riveting, exhilarating — a story of unconquerable love in harrowing circumstances, and of the diamond-hard bond between a mother and her child.
Quotes from Room
Scared is what you’re feeling. Brave is what you’re doing.
If I was made of cake I’d eat myself before somebody else could.
I’ve seen the world and I’m tired now.
Movie Trailer for Room (2015)
About Emma Donoghue
Emma Donoghue is an Irish author and playwright. Her works include Akin, Room, The Wonder, and The Pull of the Stars. She was born in Dublin, Ireland, received her PHD at Cambridge and currently lives in Ontario, Canada. Visit the author’s website →