Emma O Donoghues Room Book Review by I Love Limerick Correspondent Aisling Byrne.
If there’s one thing I hate its spoilers. I’m not going to go into an in-depth analysis of the plot, the characters, the atmosphere etc of the book like most review articles do. But I am going to tell you that Room by Emma O Donoghue is one of the best books I’ve had the privilege of reading in a long time. And I am an avid reader.
The reason why I so thoroughly enjoyed this book was because it was so refreshing. And by refreshing I mean it was different- the plot, the setting, the characters, even right down to the actual words that were used and strung together to make a sentence- While reading I couldn’t anticipate the next sequence of events like you so often can in pop fiction. It was interesting to read after going through so many similar pop fiction genres. I wouldn’t normally choose a book with such a strong criminal element but it is currently on the New York Times Bestsellers List and it’s also now a major film so I thought, why not try it out?
What makes this book so pleasingly diverse is the fact that it is narrated by a 5 year old boy, Jack, whose world is an 11 by 11 foot room. He has been held captive since birth along with his mother in this room. To Jack there is Room and then there is Outer Space.
Disturbingly enough, at night, Ma (his mother) tucks Jack into Wardrobe at bedtime so as he doesn’t meet Old Nick, their imprisoner. Jack, unable to sleep, counts the squeaks Ma’s bed makes when Old Nick visits. This is one of the few horrifying revelations this book brings to light about the traumatic experiences the characters go through.
Just like any other book, the central characters face many problems and experience character developing situations. We see them go where we didn’t think they would be able to. The plot twists alone will catch you off guard and really make your heart pump as you realize anything can happen.
To capture the essence of this book in one sentence would be to say that this is a thrilling novel from start to finish that is so well written, it’s hard to put it down. There’s a reason it has spent so much time on The New York Times Bestsellers List and is shortlisted for this year’s Man Booker prize. If you haven’t already, do yourself the favor of picking up this exceptional novel.
You can find a copy of this book along with many other options in O’Mahony’s bookstore on O’Connell St Limerick.
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