Book review: Room by Emma Donoghue

This was my pick for my Christmas present this year and I was not disappointed!

Room,  By Emma Donoghue is about Jack, a little boy who lives in a single 11 x 11ft room with his ma as he has done for all of his five years of life. As the story unfolds through Jack’s innocent eyes, we discover how it is that he and his ma came to be confined to this room, and how he remains innocently unaware of the rest of the world that exists outside of it.

I don’t want to tell you anything more and spoil the story that unfolds at the pace of a nail-biting thriller. I will tell you, however, that I was profoundly affected by this book and that it was unputdownable (if that is even a word). Emma Donoghue has created an utterly believable plot and characters that are not only believable, but compelling. As the mother of a little boy who is the same age as Jack, and not unlike him, it was both a painful and triumphant read. If you are a student of human nature or the decay of society, if you believe in the power of the human spirit to survive,  if you are a believer in the power of love —or want to  be—read this book. It’s going straight to my list of regular reads! I cannot recommend it more highly!

As author Audrey Niffenegger says of it’ “Room is a book to read in one sitting. When it’s over you look up: the world looks the same but you are somehow different and the feeling lingers for days.”

I bought my copy at The Whistling Fish bookshop in Robe, South Australia. It’s more than just a bookshop, it’s heaven for book lovers! From the shelves and shelves of books interspersed with quirky decor, to the coffee shop out back, it is the closest I’ve come to the feeling of magic that books inspire for me. I wanted to be there all day. As much as it appeals to me to save a few dollars by buying books online, nothing compares to the sheer joy of picking up a book in my hand, sensing how thick it is, how good the quality of the paper is and being able to flick open to a page and test the style and skill of the writer. The shop’s proprietor, JJ Aitken, has spared no effort in sharing his passion for books. Three tables fill the centre space of the shop and there are small piles of books stacked on them, each pile with a string-wrapped copy of the book on offer and a hand-written review or comment that JJ has done himself. His passion shows in his selection of books and his treatment of them. I’d rather pay a few dollars extra and support his passion, not to mention a local business, and share those few moments of magic with like-minded people in the world’s best bookshop! Go check out his website and see what I mean.


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