11 Nov 2010

Review: "Room" - Life within four walls

You have probably heard about the Natascha Kampusch case or the Elisabeth Fritzl case. "Room" by Emma Donoghue is the story of the Jack and Ma case. Jack is five years old and he lives in Room with his mother, Ma. Room is his little kingdom - he sleeps in Wardrobe and is friends with Spider, Plant and even Door. Sometimes he watches TV even though he knows - Ma has told him - that the people inside the TV are not real. There are only three persons in Jack's world, himself, his Ma and Old Nick, the evil old man who brings them food and Sunday treats and who visits them only at night.
For Jack this is the entire world but his Ma knows that there is more in Outside and one day she decides that she needs to save herself and save Jack. However, becoming part of the world outside is not easy - neither for Jack, nor for Ma.

This book was nominated for the Booker Prize in 2010 and I can see why. It is an amazing literary book that Emma Donoghue has written. She really takes the reader into Jack's world, letting us experience this from his innocent perspective. His love for Ma, his fear of Old Nick and his dependence on Sunday treat. And through his eyes we understand Ma, a 27-year-old who has been trapped in a garden shed for eight years and who has almost more trouble dealing with the vast real world than with her confinement between the four walls.
Jack loves his Ma unconditionally and so did I. Though we never get to experience her thoughts or feelings directly, I came to respect this character immensely for what she inspires in Jack. He is such a sweet kid with such an childish insight in life.

I read this book more or less in one go, once I started on it, I just could not put it down. It is a fantastic book and all it lacked from my perspective was more pages. I really wanted to read more about Jack, he had become so real for me and he really interested me. Emma Donoghue has written a beautiful book that I think many of you out there will enjoy.


  1. I'm glad you liked this one. It sounded really interesting. I'll definitely have to read it soon.

  2. Agree - this novel is worth all the praise it has received.