Book Review: ROOM
(Emma Donoghue)

If you had to, how would you raise a child alone to the age of 5 in one locked room?

"Room" explores the story of a little boy growing up in confinement. It's an astonishing tale told from his viewpoint, completely believable and amazingly well written.

I started reading it at bedtime last night and read the first chapter, then got up early today and read the rest straight through for five hours. Couldn't put it down, and not just because it was overdue at the library. I was prepared to pay big fines.

Intelligent little Jack is a bright penny of a character, but it was his mother I found extraordinary. Her inventiveness, imagination and care under the worst circumstances makes me wish I'd been a much more attentive and engaged parent (dare I say, maybe even to the point of being isolated with my kids their first five years). "Room" will make you wonder what's worse: being cooped up or being let out.

This book is a gripping read, hugely compelling for anyone with a heart and especially meaningful for parents.

Order from Capitola Book Cafe.

Order from Bookshop Santa Cruz.


  1. Thanks for this, Kelly. Loved this book -- thought the author nailed it particularly by writing from the boy's perspective, showing how the mother provided a "normal" childhood -- (like how inanimate objects became his imaginary friends, of a sort) -- ensuring that Jack's childlike innocence and resilience manifested even in this situation.

  2. I know, and wasn't it amazing how Donoghue managed the narrative voice of a 5-year-old? Neat trick.

    Thanks for the comment. :)