Review: Room by Emma Donoghue (Rating 3 Wine Glasses)

Posted January 17, 2011 by Felicia S in Uncategorized / 7 Comments


From Goodreads: To five-year-old Jack, Room is the entire world. It is where he was born and grew up; it’s where he lives with his Ma as they learn and read and eat and sleep and play. 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 is the prison where Old Nick has held her captive for seven years. Through determination, ingenuity, and fierce motherly love, Ma has created a life for Jack. But she knows it’s not enough…not for her or for him. She devises a bold escape plan, one that relies on her young son’s bravery and a lot of luck. What she does not realize is just how unprepared she is for the plan to actually work.

Told entirely in the language of the energetic, pragmatic five-year-old Jack, ROOM is a celebration of resilience and the limitless bond between parent and child, a brilliantly executed novel about what it means to journey from one world to another.

Bought on Audible

What I Loved: The story was told very well from the perspective of a 5 year old boy.  The descriptions of everything from the room, to the clinic, and finally the outside world are done with wonder and innocence that only a 5 year old would have.  The pacing is just perfect for this story–you spend the right amount of time in each of the different areas of the book.  It is at times emotionally griping and sometimes you catch yourself smiling.

What I Liked: The interactions of the adults are sporadic but they do add a layer to remind you that Ma is going through all of these changes also.  The little details are also a great addition to the book: the weather descriptions, the time of day, and little things that we take for granted.

Complaints:  The asking for “can I have some” was a little bit much and I think a little too repetitive. I also think at times there needed to be a little bit more “adult” voice used.

Audio Part: The narrators used for the audiobook were excellent.  I liked the fact that there were different actors for the main voices.

Why I gave it a 3:  The book was excellently written and well acted on the audio.  The subject at times was a little to “over-done” for my taste but I do understand why I have seen reviews from 1 to 5.  This book is one that will make you have strong feelings.

Who I would recommend this too:  To be honest, with the subject matter I am hesitant to say who this would appeal too.  It is a general fiction book with strong emotional elements, if you like those things this book is for you.

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Felicia S
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7 responses to “Review: Room by Emma Donoghue (Rating 3 Wine Glasses)

  1. Kah Woei

    I'm curious about this one but the reactions are so varied that I'm not sure if I should pick it up …

  2. toothybooks

    i've seen this book around everywhere! looks like i'll have to give it a try to see where i fall on the rating spectrum.

  3. Darlyn

    I 'm looking forward to read the book. It sounds depressing and heavy but I think I would love it. Thanks for the insights!

  4. Missie

    yeah, I have read a mix of reviews for this, but this is the first I've read on the audio book version. I don't know how well I would be able to handle it.

  5. Amused

    I'm sorry you didn't love this one as much as I did but I agree with you – the subject matter can really inspire a wide range of emotions in a reader!

  6. Mrs. DeRaps

    Very strong subject matter. I also listened to it on audio and found it moving and scary and nauseating and inspiring all at the same time.