Room by Emma Donoghue

"Room" is Emma Donoghue's seventh novel and was long listed for the Man Booker Prize in 2010. Ever since buying this book, I knew it would be a story like no other and indeed, it was.

More than half of the novel is set in Room, not a room, but Room, where Jack shares this tiny existence with his Mother. Jack was born in Room, five years ago, after his Mother was abducted and they have been held captive there ever since. He has never experienced anything other than this 12-foot-square world. The brilliance in the writing comes through in the depiction of his world and things that fill his daily life. For example, one becomes familiar with characters such as Meltedy Spoon, Rug and the joy in Sunday Treat. I read this book in complete awe and admiration for "Ma", who is never too tired, bored or depressed to turn a mundane day into one filled with fun activities and learning experiences. She expertly teaches him about their closed off "world", but spares him the pain of knowing and longing for "The Outside".

Eventually, through the courage that Jack inspires, the two of them manage to escape to "The Outside". Here it is not all joy and sunshine, as they both battle with coming to terms with a new life, in which they are seen as individuals. They instantly become famous and need more than dark glasses and sunscreen to protect them. Jack grapples with spacial awareness and "Ma" with being her own person, whilst she has to deal with their family, her own mental stability, and putting herself first for the first time in her life.

This novel explores the themes of selfless parenthood, torture and the rediscovery of one's soul. An excellent read, which I highly recommend to anyone looking for something slightly different yet inspirational. This has been my best read of 2011! Read it!



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