For The Someday Book

Book Review: Room

Posted on: October 25, 2012

Room by Emma Donoghue, Little, Brown and Company, 2010, 321 pp.

Go, get this book and read it. Right now. Seriously, it’s that good. I knew it would be good by the friend who so strongly recommended it, but I had no idea how beautiful, honest, powerful and hopeful it would be. I couldn’t put it down, and read the whole thing in less than 24 hours.

Room is Jack’s story, narrated by Jack himself in the weeks following his fifth birthday. Jack’s whole life has taken place in one small 11×11 room. He has known only two other people—Ma, his loving mother, and “Old Nick,” her captor for the last seven years since snatching her off the streets. This one small square, Room, is a whole world for Jack. He knows its every detail and delights like any child in its small wonders. Ma has kept Jack insulated from the horrible circumstances that surround their existence, so he dubs anything outside of Room as Outer Space, and any other creatures as only “in TV.”

From the first few pages, Jack stole my heart. Emma Donoghue had created something masterful in this young, naive character, and in his fierce and compassionate mother. I wrote to my friend who recommended the book and made her promise that Jack’s story would not break my heart forever. She reassured me that it would not, and she was right.  In fact, it gave me great hope and joy to have met them both.

Go. Get this book from the library or the bookstore or wherever. Read it. Now. Come back later and we can talk about it.

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About Me

I am a full-time pastor in the United Church of Christ, mother of a young child (B.), married to an aspiring academic and curmudgeon (J.). I live by faith, intuition and intellect. I follow politics, football and the Boston Red Sox. I like to talk about progressive issues, theological concerns, church life, the impact of technology and media, pop culture and books.

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