Room – Emma Donoghue


Hey chums – hope the week is treating you well. It has cooled right down where we are which is a relief (although I do love the sun). I am a bit disappointed we didn’t have a spectacular storm though!

This was on of the books that I picked up from my local Community Centre. This was the first one I had picked up as I did watch the film and wanted to compare.

Book Summary

The story is written from the point of view of five-year-old Jack who lives with his 26-year-old Ma in ‘Room’. Jack has only ever known Room and therefore does not understand that there is life outside of it. Ma allows Jack to believe that the rest of the world exists only on television in order to protect him. Ma does all she can to keep Jack safe and finds creative ways to ensure he is physically active, eats a good diet and has good body hygiene. The only other person that Jack has ever seen is ‘Old Nick’ who visits Ma while Jack sleeps in the wardrobe. Old Nick brings food and necessities.

What Jack doesn’t know is that Old Nick kidnapped Ma when she was 19 years old and has imprisoned her for the past seven years. Old Nick rapes Ma which is how Jack was conceived. Ma is certain that Old Nick would kill her and Jack before setting them free and concocts a plan to get them out of the Room. In doing so Ma has to tell Jack about the outside world as he has an important role to play in the plan to escape.

Jack successfully executes the plan and him and Ma are taken to a psychiatrict hospital where they receive medical evaluations and a temporary home. Old Nick is found and faces numerous charges of abduction, rape and child endangerment that leads to 25 years in prison. Ma is reunited with her family and begins to interact with the outside world. Jack is overwhelmed and scared by the big world.

Ma and Jack move to an independent living home and make plans for the future whilst both adapting and readapting to the world.

About the Author

Emma Donoghue is an Irish-Canadian playwright, literary historian, novelist and screenwriter.

Emma was a finalist fo the Man Booker Prize for Room and it was an international best-seller. Room was adapted into a film by the same name which was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Adapted Sceenplay.

Emma has continued to write and has released books such as Hood and Slammerkin.


So my review – the book was gripping, sad, emotional and hard hitting. I was absolutely jubliated when they got free but it was short lived due to the difficulties they then faced. It made me think about the real life stories where this has happened and the way professionals and the media react when they are released – we must ensure they are protected and not further harmed by this process.

I loved how the author described the intricacies in the descriptions of the room and the activities and I was able to imagine this perfectly. Such an interesting and powerful read.

Favourite Quote

“In the world I notice persons are nearly always stressed and have no time…I don’t know how persons with jobs do the jobs and all the living as well…I guess the time gets spread very thin like butter all over the world, the roads and houses and playgrounds and stores, so there’s only a little smear of time on each place, then everyone has to hurry on to the next bit.”

Sometimes Jack I am not sure how they do it either!


Feels incorrect to say I really enjoyed this book but I was left interested and page turning. I was so invested in Ma and Jack that I really wanted to know how the rest of their lives turned out but that is for my imagination I suppose.

*Book 10/10

*Film 9/10

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