I was lucky enough to pick up a proof copy of Emma Donoghue’s Room at London Book Fair back in April. I’m glad I did because this book is brilliant.
This is a compelling story about Jack, five, and his Ma, being held captive by ‘Old Nick’ in a Room. The room, measuring 11 feet by 11 feet, with a locked door and a skylight, conceals them from real life. Jack likes the TV and thinks Dora from Dora the Explorer is his best friend. Their only visitor is Old Nick but Jack always stays in the wardrobe when Nick comes to visit. Thins start to change when Ma tells Jack there is a world outside.
Told in Jack’s voice, this is a story with credible characters who drew me into the story. Jack is just superb with his observations about the world around him. I especially like his ‘word sandwiches’ where he squashed two words together to form a new one. I remember doing that when I was younger (and still do it now!).
I would say it is an uncomfortable read but that’s the one way it can be due to the subject matter. The humour took off the edge and kept me reading to find out what happened to the characters. Its one of those sorts of books you will not forget after closing the back page. There have been some comparisons to The Lovely Bones but I would say this is better. This is one of those books that you think, I wish I had written this.