“Scared is what you’re feeling. Brave is what you’re doing.”
— Emma Donoghue, Room
Meet Jack. A curious and brave little fellow who finds comfort, joy and love in Room and Ma. Room is where he lives in. He has everything he needs, from books to television. His own room, inside Room, is a closet through which he hears the boogeyman every now and then at night—that’s Old Nick. Jack’s mom also lives under the same skylight. Telling Jack about stories and teaching him to hold a strict and fun schedule every day, Ma is the only person that Jack needs. She’d do anything for her son, the apple of her eyes. That’s Ma. Room is an intricate and brilliant novel that’s disturbing enough to be claimed a horror story. Emma Donoghue has written a novel that not only examines the world through the eyes and words of a 5 year old, but questions the very foundation of society that governs our daily lives. This novel is drenched in truth and virtue. It’s molded around a scary and sharply accurate depiction of life and doesn’t fail in serving wisdom on a silver platter. Room combines innocence and life in a heart-wrenching tale of love and discovery.
“Everybody’s damaged by something.”
— Emma Donoghue, Room
Narrating a whole novel by a 5 year old is a challenge for titans. It not only means that you have to think and act like a child, but you also have to perfectly develop a character who’s malleable by life. If you never knew that children are sponges to experience, then you must have lived under a rock. Their ability to gather information is phenomenal. And Jack is no exception. He is by far one of the best characters ever created, at least when it comes down to a 5 year old. His power—if I may call it that—to absorb knowledge and to apply them to the letter is genuine and impressive. Throughout the novel, his voice can start off as a hassle. However, after a couple of pages and a quick adaptation, you’re easily accustomed to the missing words or wrong conjugation. His voice transcends the mistakes and manages to captivate readers. It’s so magical that you quickly learn to understand him and see what he sees, anywhere and anytime.
They say that children are so innocent that lying is beyond their nature. They say that children hold more wisdom than some of our compatriots. Emma Donoghue succeeds in making Room the most captivating and thrilling adventure. An adventure that leads our dear protagonist in discovering the world outside of his knowledge. Split in 5 big parts, this novel grabs you by the collar and drags you through a beautiful and tear-inducing relationship between mother and son. It’s climax is bound to have your heart racing, while its finale will leave you in a state of introspection. Although the novel clings on setting Jack on various adventures and leaving readers with a lasting impression on how different the world is for him, I personally thought it could’ve cut on some events and focus on others. Apart from that, Jack’s personal growth and evolution is outstanding. Seeing him conflicted and attempting to understand his surrounding by using what is true for him helps Room deliver a stunning, yet disconcerting novel.
An amazing aspect of this novel lies in its depiction of Jack as a 5 year old child. Not only did the character grow in an environment deprived of abstraction, Jack shows severe development and recession in child development. In fact, his life revolves on a limited number of objects and concepts. His main source of knowledge comes from his Ma and his Television. Albeit his extraordinary cognitive skills, abstraction is simplified for him to understand the world. What I enjoyed the most from him is the questions that he asks himself in moments of confusion and misunderstanding. It’s absolutely heart-breaking the sort of questions he asks himself because they not only lead to answers that could break him, but they’re also revelatory, eye-opening. Watching him fill his brain with new concepts and develop skills that should’ve been acquired a long time ago is an adventure that no one should miss. Jack is without a doubt, a person that you should meet.
“Stories are a different kind of true.”
— Emma Donoghue, Room
Emma Donoghue can definitely flex her creativity muscles. Room is a thrilling and powerful novel. If you can grow attached to the voice of Jack, it will captivate you and you will find room to love it profoundly. Told through the voice of a five year-old, this novel discusses themes of time, space, home, rules and love like none other author have ever tried. If you ask me, there’s no better person than a child to tell you the cold hard facts about life. The vision of a child is probably one of the most innocent and practical one out there. Living such a haunting event, that Jack himself doesn’t realize, is a trial that no child should ever endure. But through his eyes, readers are able to learn a lot more than they thought they would. This book is a unique snowflake in literature. It stimulates your reflection and unveils its beauty, one word at a time. What are you waiting for? Go and meet Jack.
Did you read or watch Room? Brie Larson (who plays Ma) won Best Actress in a leading role at the Oscars for that very role! What did you think about the book or the movie?
You haven’t, you say? How about you read this story for yourself!
You can purchase a copy of Room by Emma Donoghue by clicking on this hyperlink !
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