Day 1054: Room

Cover for RoomReviews and even the book blurb have made no secret of a major plot point of Room, that it is about five-year-old Jack and his Ma, who has been kept captive in a small room for 10 years. Perhaps Donaghue meant this to be a surprise, simply presenting us at first with a strange situation that is difficult to understand, but there has been too much publicity about this novel to keep this plot point hidden.

Donaghue is clever to make the novel be from Jack’s point of view, because this is the only world he has known. His Ma has told him that the world presented in grainy black and white on their TV is all made up.

But an incident with Old Nick, their captor, makes Ma realize that they could be left locked in their shed to die. So, she begins making plans for their escape, plans that require Jack to leave Room by himself.

This novel is certainly compelling. I read it in one day last October despite spending a great deal of time preparing for our move. At times, though, I didn’t believe Jack’s voice. Yes, he is often childlishly naive, but sometimes Donaghue gives him insights that a five-year-old wouldn’t have. I’m not talking about his almost telepathic sense of what his Ma is feeling, but of other times when he has some rather sophisticated thoughts.

So, I think this novel has been a little over-rated, but it is still certainly worth reading.

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4 thoughts on “Day 1054: Room

  1. Naomi March 21, 2017 / 12:31 pm

    Good point about the plot being so well-publicized at this point, that it’s not quite the same reading experience. I still liked it, though!

    • whatmeread March 21, 2017 / 12:33 pm

      Yeah, it’s right there on the blurb. I wonder what it would be like to read it with no former knowledge or expectations. It would probably be even better.

  2. Helen March 21, 2017 / 4:02 pm

    I liked this book but I agree that Jack’s voice wasn’t always very convincing. I remember thinking it would have been interesting to have been able to read the same story from the mother’s perspective!

  3. whatmeread March 21, 2017 / 8:43 pm

    I guess telling it from the child’s perspective gave it the twist.

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