Room by Emma Donoghue – Book Review

Literary Awards for Emma Donoghue for Room
Man Booker Prize Nominee (2010)
Goodreads Choice Award for Fiction (2010)
 Hughes & Hughes Irish Novel of the Year (2010)
Room by Emma Donoghue is a book that left me confused if I liked it or not. I did enjoy reading it and I completed the book as soon as my work and other duties would allow, but I believe that this book is a bit over-hyped.
Room is a narration by 5-year old Jack who has stayed locked inside a eleven by eleven feet room ever since his birth. But for Jack, the life inside the Room with his Ma is very much normal, though the reality is much different.  Jack’s Ma was kidnapped 7 years ago and she is locked inside a well protected backyard shed by a person referred as Old Nick in the book. Jack is not aware of the world outside the room and he has been taught that all the things that he sees in the TV are not real. Jack’s Ma tries her best to protect Jack from Old Nick’s sight by making him sleep inside the wardrobe when Nick is around.
Jack’s life starts changing when his Ma tells him the truth about the world outside. He finds it difficult to cope up with all the facts that his mom puts into his head. The rest of the story is about Jack’s life after he learns the truth.
What I liked about Room?
Though the theme of the book is very depressing, the story is made interesting by Jack’s narration. I got to look at things from a different perspective; from the eyes of a kid whose has never seen or interacted with people or outside world.  Emma Donoghue has done a great job of transforming a sad theme to an interesting and humorous read.
Did I like the Room?
Yes n No.  I am confused in this regard. First of all, the theme of the story is very much horrifying. The single thought of being kidnapped and locked up in a room for 7 years is terrifying, giving birth to a kid and trying to raise the kid as normal as possible is unthinkable. I know this story was inspired from a real life incident, but still the theme is very sensitive.
The entire story is narrated by Jack and there are no narrations by any other character. I would have loved to read some from his Ma. But that could complicate the story very much which is the reason why Emma avoided that. But Jack’s narration alone gives it an incomplete feeling.
To conclude, Room is an interesting read, but I would still say that it is an over-hyped book.
Rating: 3.75/5
Source : Personal Copy from
Genre:  Fiction
Year of Publication : 2010

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2 thoughts on “Room by Emma Donoghue – Book Review

  1. dr.antony

    Sometime back I had commented that many of these prize winners are not that good,and hyped. This is not a small time game,it is big money.
    Good to see that you are honest.You saved me some money!

  2. Elizabeth

    @Dr Antony
    Yea, I know many of the award winning books are over-hyped. But I read many good reviews of this book that I was tempted to buy this book.

    next time, I will check out my library before buying books on impulse


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