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by Emma Donoghue
Author: Emma Donoghue
Room is an incredible story of a mother and son who have been locked in a singular room for over five years and their escape back into the real world. The story is told from Jack's perspective-a boy who at the start of the novel has his fifth birthday. Donoghue uses a stripped back style to show Jack's naivety and innocence in the book's narrative- this is a boy who believes anything outside of Room is either in outer-space or in TV.
Matthew Trundle (16)
Having the book told from Jack's perspective creates dramatic irony- where the reader knows more than the character- and this is very effective as we see the emotional trauma Jack's "Ma" is going through as she has been locked in this room for seven years: being separated from her family and friends for all that time and only seeing one other person her captor Old Nick whom we barely see from Jack's eyes as he is hidden in Wardrobe when Old Nick enters Room with the code only he knows and Ma has fought for so many times. Old Nick arrives some nights of the week at 9PM to take out the trash, bring Sundaytreat and do unspeakable things to Jack's Ma. This for Jack is completely normal and to him Room is everything and he is well-suited to this as he has never once experienced the outside world; he has only ever known Room and all it entails. His description of Room and the games he plays with his Ma in Room is optimistic and innocent- never realising he is being forced to live here- he loves what little possessions he has: Eggsnake, his five books, Fort, Labyrinth and his TV- Dora the explorer being his favourite programme, seeing Jack with so little makes you appreciative of all you have and when he enters the real world and makes you see how you take for granted the experiences you have had.
The real world hosts problems for both Jack and his Ma, both have some catching up to do in getting in touch with what the world is like now. Jack must learn how to interact with other people and deal with unfamiliar situations such as going to playgrounds, beaches, seeing plays and much more that he does with his Ma or his newly-introduced Grandmother, Step-Grandfather, Aunt, Uncle and cousin Bronwyn, his real grandfather has issues with where Jack has come from in terms of paternity so returns to Australia. They must also deal with unneeded publicity which causes Ma to do something terrible that I will not spoil.
But through all these struggles Jack and his Ma experience so many new things that uplift you and transform you into a more grateful person and opens your eyes to show you what you take for granted. I would really recommend this book to anyone who wants a book that's original, endearing and makes you thankful for the world around us.