Room by Emma Donoghue

Room by Emma Donoghue

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

I’m back, y’all! Sorry for my hiatus last week, but sometimes you just have to let life win. I was nearly finished with Room when I had to make the call to put out my “Send help, and coffee” post, but just couldn’t get that far.

Years ago I watched the movie Room on Netflix and thought it simply amazing. The story had me crying all the way through, and when the credits rolled, my face was soaked. I had no intention on also reading the story, but when I won the Goodreads Choice sweepstakes a few years back, this was one of the books I received – and I decided to give it a shot. It’s literally been three years, but I get there eventually, okay?

Room is told from the perspective of Jack, a five year old boy in captivity. At age nineteen, “Ma” was kidnapped and held captive in a gardening shed by her abuser. Years later, Jack was born, and Room, with it’s 11’x11′ footprint and four walls, is all Jack has ever known.

After their kidnapper turns off the electric in the dead of winter for several days, Ma decides it’s time to escape. Together they craft a plan to get out, into the world, into the outside Jack can only imagine.

This story is truly beautiful in it’s relationships. It’s so inherently human, and that is most certainly its strength. The relationship between Ma and Jack is quintessential mother and son, the strongest love built on five years of no separation. Their life in the outside world, the angst, the anger, the depression, the curiosity…it’s so real and so well done.

Jack’s perspective can get…tiring. I think it’s extremely novel, very accurate, and the best perspective with which to tell this story. However, reading an entire book from the perspective of a five year old is much like spending your day in and day out with a five year old. Particularly, one who knows nothing at all of the world and has a lot of questions.

Jack’s vocabulary also brings up some questionable choices in the writing of this book. It just creates some plot loopholes: one moment, he won’t know what something is, then the next he’s using huge vocabulary words to describe the very same thing. It just occasionally had me saying, “Five year olds don’t know that word…even bright five year olds”. It took me out of the story, however briefly, and I just couldn’t fall all the way into it.

Overall, this story is fantastic. I think it’s a great one to absorb, no matter how you absorb it: be it through the movie or the book. Honestly, though, this is one of the few cases where I think I preferred the movie. It had more of an emotional effect on me to watch it rather than read and listen to it. I think the book brings up some intricacies that aren’t present in the movie, and are very important, but it just didn’t have the same impact for me. Like I said, I originally fell in love with the story as I cried my way through Brie Larson’s performance…but I didn’t cry once while reading the very same narrative.

I think this is a really touching story, and I recommend it in any capacity. Room is a beautiful story of a mother’s love, told through tragedy. I’m glad I finally took the time to knock it off my TBR…and if it’s been on yours for a while too, take this as your sign to pick it up!

I hope you all have a wonderful week, peeps!

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