Tuesday, 28 July 2015
Book Review - Room by Emma Donoghue
I'm a bit late coming to this novel. I remember hearing about it several years ago but it was only recently that my sister sent me her old copy which I popped into my case for holiday reading.
This novel is told from the point of view of Jack, a five year old boy who lives in Room with Ma. He is a happy child, content to do his chores with Ma ( washing the clothes, watering the plant) and watching TV. He names all the things in Room such as Plant, Rug and Skylight. He is intelligent and caring, looking after Ma when she is 'Gone'. But there is something disturbing about Jack's world. He has to hide in the wardrobe when Old Nick visits and there is an electronic keypad at the door.
I was charmed by Jack right from the first paragraph. He is a delightful narrator and you are drawn into his little world. Ma is a caring mother who is doing the best for her son under extreme circumstances. Their lives are by no means ideal but they rely on each other and their love for the other is clear.
The second half of the story deals with how Ma and Jack deal with life when they leave Room. Ma finds things hard to cope with. She has been used to taking care of Jack on her own and doesn't deal well with the input of others, particularly her mother. Jack is bewildered by the world and he is a total innocent in the outside world. The way he reacts to things and the way he phrases things is wonderful and made me look at the world in a totally new way - I spent a while staring into the distance wondering about perspective from Jack's point of view.
I loved this book. It deals with a difficult and disturbing set of circumstances but there is lightness and joy in the relationship between Jack and Ma which is heart warming. There was a tear in my eye at times but many more chuckles.