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Sunday, April 17, 2011 | By: Traci

Review: Room by Emma Donoghue

Room: A Novel
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Room: A NovelSummary: Room is told through the eyes of Jack, a just turned five year old living in an 11x11 garden shed with his mother known only to readers as Ma. Jack's mom was kidnapped heading to the college library, knocked out and forced to live her life in the garden shed as a sexual slave. They have the most basic of necessities, and must rely on their captor for everything. If Ma makes him mad, they might go without food or electricity for days. Life in Room for Jack is all he knows, except for what he sees on TV, and mostly Jack things all those things he sees on TV aren't real and only exist within the TV itself. Slowly, Ma begins to tell Jack more about her kidnapping, the baby that came before him that died, her life before she was kidnapped, and that more importantly, they are things out there that Jack just doesn't know about, like trees, and dogs, and doctors. When Ma can't take it anymore, she devises a plan to get them both out. At first, Jack doesn't think he can do it, but Ma insists; to be free, Jack must pretend he is dead, and run at the first chance he gets.

My Thoughts: Let me start this by saying, I found this book very hard to put down. I began reading it yesterday evening and finished it today. I loved the plot and was rooting for these characters to get out when we are first introduced to them, but I do have some small complaints about this story that make it quite hard fully enjoy.

I understand that Room is all jack knows, but the kid is five; his mother has taught him big words that many five year olds can't even say, and yet, Jack still, for the most part baby talks. That is frustrating. You have a kid talking about omnivores, and yet he talks about meltedy spoon, or having 'some' (breast milk). I just find it hard to believe, that a kid that has his mother teach him how to read and write, would be talking with baby talk.  The baby talk makes it hard sometimes to read through the story, because all you read is one giant block of baby talk text.

Also, be prepared to jump around a lot. True to the mind of a five year old, Jack can jump from thought to thought rather quickly. However, that does not make it hard to follow as his thoughts progress rather easily from his previous thought.

All in all, I found this to be an enjoyable read. One that was quite hard to put down, one that I found myself rooting for the characters and wishing nothing but evil upon their captor.


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