Room — Emma Donoghue


To five-year-old Jack, Room is the world. . . . It’s where he was born. It’s where he and Ma eat and sleep and play and learn. There are endless wonders that let loose Jack’s imagination — the snake under Bed that he constructs out of eggshells;the imaginary world projected through the TV; the coziness of Wardrobe beneath Ma’s clothes, where she tucks him in safely at night, in case Old Nick comes.

Room is home to Jack, but to Ma, it’s the prison whereshe’s been held since she was nineteen — for seven long years.Through her fierce love for her son, she has created a life forhim in that eleven-by-eleven foot space. But Jack’s curiosity is building alongside Ma’s own desperation, and she knows that Room cannot contain either indefinitely. . . . Told in the inventive, funny and poignant voice of Jack, Room is a celebration of resilience — and a powerful story of a mother and son whose love lets them survive the impossible. [Chapters | Indigo]

I read this book as well as watched the movie of the same title, and I found them both to be riveting. With the amount of heartbreaking and convincing emotion written into this story, you’d almost convince yourself it was a memoir, not a novel.

What I found particularly interesting about this book (and I should note, I rarely enjoy fiction), was the accurate and gripping depiction of trauma and PTSD. Emma has a very real understanding of the ripple effects of trauma, and how it can creep up into different places in your life. Every character in this story had a unique and raw emotional side effect from the trauma at the heart of the story. Even the seemingly minor characters who made brief appearances, stood out in my mind due to their interactions with the other characters and the way they dealt with such a horrific event.

Though the premise of the story sounds depressing, I recommend both the book and the movie (Brie Larson is incredible in the film). For anyone interested, I expanded on my reflections about PTSD in this book in further detail for the Breaking Free Foundation blog.

My rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Book information: 

  • Paperback, ebook, audiobook
  • Fiction/Literary
  • Published by Harper Collins in Canada
  • Available in book stores (check availability), Amazon, Chapters

CHEERS to Canadian authors! 🇨🇦

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