Emma Donoghue: Room
The page-turning novel tells the story of little Jack and his mother whom a man named Nick had abducted seven years earlier. During those years, he successfully locked her up in a soundproof, underground room with no means of communication with the real world except for an old TV set. And after giving birth to Jack, she made sure that the relationship between the child and his father – her kidnapper and rapist – was practically non-existent.
To Jack though, the world seems interesting enough. His life is defined by activities he does with his protective mother; his toys are snakes made out of eggshells and a real-life spider, which he hides out of the fear that she’ll squash it. The only troublesome part of Jack’s life is Old Nick – the man who visits his mother late at night and makes her bed squeak while he’s forced to hide in the wardrobe of ‘The Room’.
The fact that our narrator is a five-year-old gives this book a unique twist. Donoghue intelligently uses Jack’s oblivion towards his terrifying reality as an engaging, artistic form of storytelling. You fall in love with sweet Jack and his never-ending questions about life outside ‘The Room’. The endearing young boy fills your thoughts and his loving, caring mother steals your heart.
The author sheds a bright light on an extremely sensitive topic using an original, invigorating approach. She tastefully converted what could have been a depressing and disturbing story to a riveting and compelling tale. You’ll find it hard to put this book down.