Tuesday, August 25, 2015


Room, by Emma Donoghue

I'm desperately behind in my book reviews, so I'm having a hard time remembering the details of the books...so forgive me for the brevity here.

I avoided this book for awhile, as I'd heard others talk about how difficult it was. I hadn't realized that Emma Donoghue had also written Slammerkin, one of my best books of 2005. Room is not as dark as many books I've read, so I'm not sure why I stayed away.

Room describes a mother's desperate love for her son and desire to protect him above all costs. "Ma" and Jack are in captivity for five years until she devises an escape plan. In the second half of the book, the two struggle to adapt to their new-found freedom. It illustrates power imbalance and violence against women.

Many readers dislike the simplified, child-like language Jack uses, and I agree that it is an odd choice. In my experience, only children tend to have more advanced vocabularies, not less advanced...and I would think this would be even more the case in this story, since Jack was Ma's only companion.

Being married to a Brit, I found a number of instances where British English snuck into a story supposedly set in the U.S.

But overall, I found this novel to be touching, thought provoking, and mesmerizing.

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