My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Once again, Goodreads reviewers gave me anxiety about opening a book. I need to stop reading the reviews before I read it myself.
I read this book very quickly. It’s so easy to read. Yes, the narrator of this novel is a five-year-old boy. Yes, it’s a good thing. I liked it. I thought it was hugely important to the story being told. I would not have wanted it any other way. I liked that I was afraid when Jack was afraid, but I also knew more than Jack at times which is a relatively unique position to be in as a reader. Emma Donoghue was able to convey all the emotions and frustrations of Ma and Jack’s situation through her narrator.
I found the most interesting moments to be the ones where I knew why Ma and Jack were misunderstanding each other, whether that was Ma’s psychological deterioration being missed by her 5-year-old or Jack’s motives being misunderstood by his mother or grandmother. Experiencing them work with each other to solve problems both in and out of Room made this book a worthwhile read. I love when characters are able to recognize their reality, address their faults, and move forward.
Utimately, this book is life affirming. Ma and Jack put their lives on the line in order to live better ones. They live a mini-revolution, and there is post-war trauma to deal with when it’s over. Actually, it’s never really over for them. Every day is a test and testament to what they learned about life while being kept from living.