This is my review of Room by Emma Donoghue.
Saw this book on a Bestsellers of 2015 list, and was fascinated by the true crime premise. I lou psychological thrillers, and this seemed right up my alley.
Jack is a lively, precocious five year old. He lives with his mother, dislikes green beans and spends much of his time glued to the TV in his room. The normalcy ends there. Jack has never left his Room- to him it’s a proper noun- because his mother has been imprisoned there for seven years by a kidnapper. And he’s the product of repeated violent rape.
Disturbing, yes. Somehow this is offset by the casual, matter of fact narration. In Jack’s world, ‘screaming for help’ is a game to be played after lunch every day.
Not to worry, mother and son are rescued about halfway through the book. From there on out, the story is about Jack’s impressions of the outside world (talk about culture shock!). His mother spirals into a depression, and they’re both the target of some unpleasant paparazzi, but all this takes a back seat because to a five year old, pizza and toys are much more important.
This kind of terrible crime does occur today, and is undoubtedly terrifying for the victims. But in my opinion, telling the story from the point of view of a child distracted from the horror/emotional aspect of it, and didn’t have the saving grace of unique insight.
So despite the promising theme it wasn’t really what I expected. 2.5/5. I wouldn’t really recommend this book.
PS: This is *-ing awesome. Short story dispensers in public places. Beats staring at your phone to kill time.