Monday, February 27, 2012

Room by Emma Donoghue

What encouraged me to pick up this book was the cover art which people find surprising since it is so simple.  To me there is so much that can be said from simple covers like the cover art of Emma Donoghue's Room.  The letters written in a child's handwriting in crayon on a plain white canvas.  I could conclude that this story was about a child and I knew this book would be about a room, but what about the room makes it the title of this story?  I was unaware how captivating Room would become and how much it would pull me inside so that I too was a prisoner along with the narrator, five year old Jack, and his mother.
            I'm going to split this review into chunks of five, just like the book is split into five parts.  I'm not doing this to give away information but to tell you my feelings as the book progressed because my emotions were shooting left and right!  The first part is titled Presents.  This section of the book introduces the reader to Jack, his mother, and Room.  Room is where Jack and his mother live – an 11x11 space with a toilet, bed, sink, table, shelves, and closet.  Oh and another thing, Jack has never left Room!  He has spent all of his life in Room with just his mother while catching brief glances at a man who comes at night named Old Nick.  To Jack, everything on TV is make believe.  He knows nothing but Room.  One thing I found unique about Room was how the narrator was a five year old.  His narration was just as deep as any adult narrator and truly showed how a child's mind works.  As an aspiring author, this book is very good at teaching about how the human mind works and how our lives are truly shaped from our experiences.
            As I read the first section of this book, I found it sort of boring and expected.  Events that occurred were fitting with the book's summary and also heart-warming to read.  I had yet to figure out where the story was leading.
            Part two rolled around titled Unlying and this was where things became much more interesting.  I became engrossed in the book and couldn't stop thinking about it.  I wanted to share the events with everyone but I couldn't for the reason that my roommate is planning on reading the book someday!  Either way, this was when the ball began rolling and glued me to the pages.
            Part three, titled Dying, was again a very engrossing section.  While some of it seemed forced for the purpose of plot, it was a very relieving section and I found myself almost in tears because I was so moved.  Then Part four came titled After.  While the plot was still fantastically raw and human, I just felt so terrible while reading it.  Seriously, if you plan on reading this book be prepared for the most annoying narration from Jack and the most heart wrenching truth's that just make you feel really unpleasant.  Thank God part five came so fast because I wasn't sure how much more I could take.  Part five, titled Living, was much more readable for me and gives the book a sense of closure.  It ends without much certainty but at the same time, all the certainty in the world.  It leaves the reader to imagine what could happen but you know things are happy. 
            I give Room 4 out of 5 stars.  It was truly an amazing book but I can't call it a favorite.  I recommend every avid reader should give it a try and every aspiring author should give it a read as well.

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