This blog is dedicated to the amazing staff at the New Canaan Public Library in New Canaan, Connecticut.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Room by Emma Donaghue, 2010, * * * * *

At the start of Donoghue's powerful new novel, Jack and his mother, who was kidnapped seven years earlier as a 19-year old college student, celebrate his fifth birthday.  They live in a tiny, 11-foot-square soundproofed cell in a converted shed in the kidnapper's yard - the "Room" of the title.  To Jack, "Room" is his entire world.  It is where he was born and grew up and it's where he lives with his "Ma" as they learn, read, eat, sleep and play.  At night, his Ma shuts hims safely in the wardrobe, where he is meant to be asleep when the kidnapper , dubbed "Old Nick" by Jack,  visits. Seen entirely through Jack's eyes and childlike perceptions, the developments in this novel are astonishing.  Ma proves to very resourceful, creating exercise games, makeshift toys, and reading and math lessons to fill their days.  However,  she knows that this is not enough - not for her or her son.  She devises a bold escape plan that relies on her young son's bravery and a lot of luck.  What she does not realize is just how unprepared she is for the plan to actually work.  Although Donoghue brilliantly protrays the psyche of a child raised in captivity, the story's intensity cranks up dramatically when Jack is introdced to the outside world.  While there have been several true-life stories of women and children held captive, little has been written about the pain of re-entry.  Room is a celebration of resilience and the limitless bond between a parent and child, a brilliantly executed novel about what it means to journey from one world to another.


  1. Rainy - this is an awesome blog! I found it by chance. Jackie Cameron

  2. Rainy - I think your blog is fantastic. I have been reading your blog since the beginning, and wow has it grown so much. I can really see all the time that you put not only into the reading, but really reading "between the lines" and then taking the time to educate avid readers like myself. All I can say is every time I am looking for a new book to read, I always stop at your blog first.......