Hello everyone, and welcome back to The Bookworm’s Fantasy! I hope you’re all well. Today I’m going to be posting the newest instalment to my “Top Shelf Spotlight” series – ‘Room’ by Emma Donoghue. You can find the other posts in the series here. In this series, I will be focusing on one book in particular that has made my “top shelf/favourites” bookshelf. I’ll be giving you some information on the book, as well as sharing some of my personal thoughts on the novel. I hope you enjoy this new series, and please leave any feedback below, including any other posts or series you’d like to see on my blog! So, here goes…
‘Room’ by Emma Donoghue.
To five-year-old-Jack, Room is the world… It’s where he was born, it’s where he and his Ma eat and sleep and play and learn. At night, his Ma shuts him safely in the wardrobe, where he is meant to be asleep when Old Nick visits.
Room is home to Jack, but to Ma it’s the prison where she has been held for seven years. Through her fierce love for her son, she has created a life for him in this eleven-by-eleven-foot space. But with Jack’s curiosity building alongside her own desperation, she knows that Room cannot contain either much longer.
“Room” is a tale at once shocking, riveting, exhilarating–a story of unconquerable love in harrowing circumstances, and of the diamond-hard bond between a mother and her child.
About the Author.
Emma Donoghue is the author of nine novels. Those most popular include: ‘Room’ (2011), ‘Frog Music’ (2014) and ‘The Wonder’ (2016). She has also written short stories, books for children and literary history books. Donoghue was born in 1969 in Dublin, Ireland, and now lives in Canada with her family.
About the Book.
Release Date: August 2010
Genre: Psychological Drama
Average Goodreads rating: 4.04
Author’s other works: ‘Stir Fry’ (1994), ‘Hood’ (1995), ‘Slammerkin’ (2000), ‘Life Mask’ (2004), ‘Landing’ (2007), ‘The Sealed Letter’ (2008), ‘Frog Music’ (2014), and ‘The Wonder’ (2016).
Themes explored: Captivity, abuse, mental illness, substance abuse.
Favourite character/narrator: Ma!
What I liked/overall standout elements:
- The use of a child narrator is absolutely fantastic. The novel is narrated by five-year-old Jack, who offers a unique perspective on the events going on around him. He observes and attempts to make sense of the madness around him.
- The characterisation of Ma is brilliant. She was abducted as a teenager by Old Nick and has been mentally, physically and sexually abused for a number of years. She attempts to hold it together and be strong for the sake of her young son Jack, but inside she is really suffering greatly. She shows such determination and courage – it’s very inspiring to read.
- The novel is split into two halves. I really appreciated that Donoghue uses the second part to explore Ma and Jack’s integration into society after their rescue. The reader gains a great insight to the difficulties that both characters experience, and how deeply they are affected by their trauma.
- I felt that the exploration of mental illness in the novel was really great. It is clear that Ma is suffering from a number of psychological issues, but, like all of us, she puts on a brave face and attempts to conceal her pain and trauma. After they are rescued, Ma’s health deteriorates, which is really upsetting to read about.
- This is a true to life, realistic portrayal of an extraordinary story. It is inspired by the real-life Josef Fritzl case. It exposes some of the horrors in the world. It’s a very dark/saddening/sickening read, but a very important one, in my opinion. Everyone should read this book!
- There’s a fantastic end resolution which ties everything together in the most perfect way. The ending is positive and hopeful, and I wish I could see where Jack and Ma end up next – I’d love a sequel to Room! The end is very emotional, and I didn’t want the book to end.
Happy reading 🙂