Room has been described as many things- true crime, thriller, horror, and’ ripped from the headlines’ are just a few. I would not call Room any of these. I’m not sure what I would call it, but it wouldn’t be any of these.
The book is in two halves. In the first half, Room is the entire world to five year old Jack. It’s all he’s ever known. But, to his Ma Room is the 11×11 prison where she’s been kept for seven long years. Jack tells the story of how he’s gone from thinking Room is
the entire world to learning that there’s so much more. He tells of his ‘scave’ attempts to free his Ma and live in the outside world.
In the second half, Jack and his Ma have escaped. Emma Donoghue is brilliant to have not only written of their escape but to also
write about the after. Jack’s new life is full of struggles. From the paparazzi to rain he tells of his new life in the outside world with his Ma.
By having Jack narrate the story Emma Donoghue keeps the balance between ripped from the headlines and fiction, between horror and literature. When I finished this book I wasn’t sure if I liked it or not. It’s one of those books that leaves you pondering things all night and really makes you grateful for the thing you may take for granted in every day life.
My verdict: Read it! If this were a movie I would rate it PG-13. It’s not as dark as you might think it is. Definitely read this.