To five-year-old Jack, Room is the entire world. It is where he was born and grew up; it’s where he lives with his Ma as they learn and read and eat and sleep and play. At night, his Ma shuts him safely in the wardrobe, where he is meant to be asleep when Old Nick visits.

Room is home to Jack, but to Ma, it is the prison where Old Nick has held her captive for seven years. Through determination, ingenuity, and fierce motherly love, Ma has created a life for Jack. But she knows it’s not enough…not for her or for him. She devises a bold escape plan, one 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.

Room is a harrowing heart-breaking, beautiful read which made me feel a lot of different emotions; the novel is powerful and poignant… a story that demands to be read. Room is a highly successful novel and with highly praised books such as Room, I am skeptical as I am fearful the read will not be as incredible as everybody is saying it is. However! This is not the case with the wonderful Room; Room is a delightful read, it may be harrowing but it is a wonderful book and I am so pleased I read it. I am sure many of you know the premise of Room but in case you do not then here is a premise of mine!

Room follows Jack, Jack is a young boy that lives with his Ma in Room. Room is a single room, a secured unit that contains a very small kitchen, a bathtub, a wardrobe, a bed and a TV set. Jack has only ever known Room, he was born in it and he believes that Room, the things it contains and his Ma are the only things that exist. Ma is a mother that did not want to disappoint her son so she allowed Jack to believe that the rest of the world only exists on television and it is something Ma struggles with daily. Ma, however, is a wonderful mother and she tries her best to keep Jack healthy and fit, both by mental and physical exercises as well as good hygiene and as good as a diet she can give him.

Jack has only ever seen one other person than his mum and this is ‘Old Nick’, Old Nick visits Room at night time whilst young Jack sleeps in a wardrobe, hidden as much as he can be. Old Nick brings food and necessities to the room but poor young Jack is unaware that Old Nick kidnapped Ma when she was nineteen years old and he has kept her imprisoned for the past seven years. Old Nick sadly regularly rapes Ma each night and Jack is the product of one such sexual assault. This next paragraph contains spoilers so if you do not want to be spoiled then skip to the spoiler-free section which will be highlighted!

Spoiler – A week after Jack’s fifth birthday, Ma learns Old Nick has been unemployed for the past six months and is in danger of losing his home. Feeling certain that Old Nick would kill them both before letting them free, Ma comes up with a plan to get Jack out of Room by convincing Old Nick that Jack is deathly ill. Jack is unable to conceptualize being outside of Room or interacting with other people, but Ma eventually convinces him to help her. When Old Nick refuses to take Jack to a hospital, Ma then pretends that Jack has died so Old Nick then removes Jack, wrapped in a rug, from Room. Jack escapes Old Nick and manages to reach a friendly stranger who contacts the police. In spite of his inability to communicate effectively, Jack directs the police to Room to free Ma.

Spoiler – After Jack and Ma are reunited they are taken to a mental hospital where they receive medical evaluations and temporary housing. In the meantime, Old Nick is found and faces numerous charges of abduction, rape, and child endangerment that will likely lead to 25 years to life in prison. While in the hospital, Ma is reunited with her family and begins to relearn how to interact with the larger world, while Jack, overwhelmed by new experiences and people, wants only to return to the safety of Room. Meanwhile, the case has attracted much attention from the public and the mass media making it even harder for Jack and Ma to start leading a normal life – At this point I should say that although the media are great for some things I think it is disgusting when they become vultures and prey on victims in these kinds of cases. I understand that there is demand for the story but some of the ways in which photos and facts are collected are horrible and shameful – After this point, Ma is persuaded to do a television interview but it ends very badly and Ma suffers a mental breakdown and attempts suicide. While Ma is in hospital recovering and receiving therapy, Jack lives with his grandmother and her new partner. Without the security of his mother nearby Jack becomes even more confused and frustrated by his surroundings, including his new extended family, who, while kind and loving, often do not understand how Jack’s limited experience – particularly his concept of personal boundaries – impact his behavior.

Spoiler – Soon Ma recovers and her and Jack move into an independent living residence where they begin to make plans for the future. Ma’s growing independence conflicts with Jack’s desire to keep her for himself, just as they used to be. At the same time, Jack himself is growing and changing as his world expands. Finally, Jack requests to visit Room. He and Ma return to the scene of their captivity but wonderfully Jack no longer feels any emotional attachment toward it and is able to say his goodbyes before he and Ma leave Room for the final time. Spoiler Free.

That was a very long synopsis! I got carried away there but I just wanted to let all of you lovely readers know the premise of the novel in case you didn’t already know! As I said at the beginning of my review this is a very harrowing and heartbreaking story and it will definitely make you cry, especially if you are a mother or even a father! It is heartbreaking for me to read about this woman who was kidnapped but also to read about a boy who has never experienced the outside world and who has been raised in poor conditions. The saddest part about this is that Ma couldn’t help the circumstances Jack had been raised in and it is so tragically sad.

Emma Donoghue the author of the novel is an exceptional writer and I admire her for making Room a survivor story as opposed to a captors story. Room could have been a horror show all about what Old Nick had done to Ma and all about his life but thankfully it was not… it was not his story, it was Jack and Ma’s story so for that I really appreciate Donoghue for this. Donoghue’s inspiration for Room was “The shock of motherhood” which she said in an interview. She elaborated further saying “Back in 2008 when I heard about Elizabeth Fritzl and her children emerging from their Austrian dungeon, our kids were four and one. My first thought was: how did she do that, how did she manage to mother – and mother well – in a locked room? But my second thought was: aren’t there moments for every parent, and every child too when that intimate bond feels like a locked room?”. In my opinion, this is an incredible observation on her behalf but also a really thought-provoking one. To take real-life inspiration from the case of Elizabeth Fritzl and apply it to her work is incredible and she deserves so much praise for this.

You have to appreciate the sheer amount of work and research Donoghue has put into this novel. The mechanics of Room, the psychological and physical results of being raised in an environment like that, and the long-term effects are all explored in sensitive and thorough detail. The Child Psychology alone in this novel is impeccable and very important; I think it is extremely important as a reader to know about these heinous acts which happen in the world and the effects they have on a person.

The writing and narration of this novel can be a little painful at times as it is narrated by 5-year-old Jack. However the more I read the novel the more you become accustomed to it so, in the end, it really is not all that bad! Donoghue’s writing, in general, is very poignant and powerful. her words are full of heart and emotion and if you read this novel and do not cry I would be surprised! Her ability to transport the reader into the novel is incredible and almost magical because I was completely lost in this book and fully immersed. I felt as if I was in the dingy, horrible Room, and for that, I take my hat off to Donoghue because it is extremely hard to write a novel in which the majority of it is set in a room, without it becoming a lackluster read!

To summarise my thoughts, Room is a roller coaster journey and a compelling, harrowing, heartbreaking read but also an inspiring read full of two wonderful enchanting characters. I adored this novel and everything about it, well, besides Nick! This incredible, touching novel gets Four Stars from me!

Thank you so much as ever for reading book lovers! I appreciate it so much. Let me know all of your thoughts on Room I would love to know! Have you read the book? Do you want to read the book? Also, have you seen the movie and if so did you love it or loathe it. Let me know below lovely readers! Thank you so much again!

Goodbye for now book lovers,   

P.S. Here is a preview of the book for all of you lovely readers to enjoy! Please have a read of the preview and if you find that you have loved what you have read then all you need to do is click the Buy on Amazon button and it will take you straight to the book on Amazon USA! If you are in the U.K. then below I have attached a link to the book for the Amazon U.K. website. I have also attached some links about the author and this wonderful book! Thank you so much again for reading book lovers, I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on this book!   

Amazon U.K. / Goodreads / Book Depository / Publisher; Picador

*Update – As always with books adapted into a movie I love to express my thoughts! Personally, I thought this movie was incredible and very true of the novel. The story and casting were amazing and I was so happy when Brie Larsson who plays Ma won the best actress at the Oscars! A superb movie and I enjoyed it thoroughly! Let me know whether you loved the movie too! Thanks again for reading book lovers!

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428 comments

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Thank you so much for commenting!

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I know this is an old post, but this is one of my favorite books and movies, and I think you described it perfectly! I also wanted to you know that I nominated you for the blogger recognition award- you can check out the post here: https://littledismaid.com/blogger-recognition-award/

Hopefully it’s something you want to do!

Arielle

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Hi Arielle, thank you so much for stopping by and commenting I appreciate it so much! Also can I just quickly say how you have such a beautiful name!

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I’m jealous of your name seriously its lovely. My name is Aimee by the way (:

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Thank you so much for your kind words about my review! This book and movie are perfect aren’t they?! What did you think of the movie adaption do you think it was a good portrayal about the book? (:

Hi there! I have not spoken to you in a very long time, I just wanted to see how you have been and what great books you have read recently? I am in dire need of book recommendations and I know you probably have many! I am looking forward to hearing from you!

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Hi there! I have not spoken to you in a very long time, I just wanted to see how you have been and what great books you have read recently? I am in dire need of book recommendations and I know you probably have many! I am looking forward to hearing from you!

Hi there! I have not spoken to you in a very long time, I just wanted to see how you have been and what great books you have read recently? I am in dire need of book recommendations and I know you probably have many! I am looking forward to hearing from you!

Hi! I’ve been doing great, so nice to hear from you! How are you? Oh man, I’ve read so much lately… I just finished “Girlboss” and “The Circle,” both were really good and I highly recommend them! I need to re-read your blog for more book recs. Thanks for checking in!!

Hi Arielle! It is so lovely to hear back from you, so what have you been up to? (:

Work, reading, and taking trips to Disney whenever I can! I’m looking forward to fall and writing more, and catch up on my book list! How about you?

Hi Arielle! It is so lovely to hear from you again, sorry for my delayed reply also!

How amazing about your Disney trip, may I ask what park you visited? I really want to take my children there soon!

I usually visit all the parks when I’m there, I take advantage of the park hopper! I hope you get to take your kids soon as well!

Aww how amazing! Also I hope so too, I am just debating which Park as they are all quite different no?

All parks are different yes, I would say Magic Kingdom though if it’s a first time visit, especially with kids. Can’t beat the magic 🎇

Thank you for your advice! I am definitely going to mention this to my husband!

I have been great thank you, however I have been super busy. I and my family just moved across state so things have been a little chaotic!

I am great thank you, I am in the process of moving homes with my family so it is a little stressful but it will be worth it when we are in Colorado! Where in the world are you from if I may ask? (:

Ah moving is always stressful, but that’s so exciting! I visited Colorado Springs once and it was gorgeous. I’m from South Florida- it’s great aside from the hurricanes, I love being so close to the beach! I do miss seasons, though.

I have heard of both of these books and they both seem great! So is The Circle as great as everybody says?!

The Circle is very interesting if you read it like it’s about a cult. Not my favorite, but very addictive.

A cult? Now that does sound good! I may have to try and read this book, it does sound entertaining!

I watched the movie adaptaion with Tom Hanks and I thought it was so good! Have you seen the movie? I look forward to hearing from you!

I like the movie, but the book is so different! Emma Watson’s character in the book is more interesting and much more unlikeable. Let me know if you read it, and what you think!

Oh really? I did not know there was such a difference between the book. So in the book do they portray the people who work at the circle as a cult who are hellbent? I am just trying to get an idea about the book!

Yes, they do portray them as a cult- as in, everyone there is so into technology and sharing to the point of mania, and the thought of “being alone” and “keeping things private” is unheard of. It’s really interesting, especially today where we share everything online. It brings up a good point of where we should draw the line. I’m glad you’ve been well and I hope the move has been successful! Let me know what you think of the book if you read it! Lovely to hear from you 💕

This book sounds incredible! I Ann actually going to give it a read because I loved the movie so much and want to know more about the characters.

It is very true though, so many people are like this, they feel the need to share everything and it is so sad.

The move was very successful thank you! Stressful, but successful. It was worth it though to be in beautiful Colorado (:

So glad you made it safely!

Aww thank you! You are so sweet!

May I ask where in the world you are from? (:

I’m from (sometimes) sunny South Florida!

Haha, how lovely though! So is it true that it rains a lot in Florida? This is what I have heard!

It does rain a lot, it’s been raining all week- even though we’re in the Sunshine State 🙄

Haha aww bless! It is just because it is hurricane season as well isn’t it? What is it like to live there? I would be intrigued to know!

I was actually born in England, burn I married an American!

That’s so cool, I’d love to visit England one day!

It is such a lovely place! Well, some of it is lol. Its like any country, some have bad places and some have good places.

If you ever did visit visit Cornwall because it is so beautiful there!

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I think I might have. I like Nicole.

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I love her too (: she is a great actress

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Hi there! I have not spoken to you in a very long time, I just wanted to see how you have been and what great books you have read recently? I am in dire need of book recommendations and I know you probably have many! I am looking forward to hearing from you!

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It’s a shame that the film sits is different though. I haven’t seen it but been told it has significant differences.
It’s a shame this happens and it’s my the first time a film has been altered.

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I agree it is such a shame.

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I’m curious do you watch many movies or are you just 100% in love with books? (:

Both. I love movies as well. 🙂

Aww amazing! What kind of movies do you like? (:

Usually factual but Sci Fi, horror interest me. If it has a twist, love those.

I love those kind of movies too. I love indie movies and psychological movies which mess with your mind. I love the machinist and night crawler but then I also really love comedy action movies like the accountant or the nice guys. Have you seen any of those? (:

Hi no I haven’t.
Thrillers and psychological i like as well. Ones that make you think.

Yes definitely! Before you go to sleep is an incredible psychological thriller book. The movie was great too but very different. But it has Nicole Kidman and Colin firth so who cares!

Have you seen that movie or read that book? (:

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Hi there! I have not spoken to you in a very long time, I just wanted to see how you have been and what great books you have read recently? I am in dire need of book recommendations and I know you probably have many! I am looking forward to hearing from you!

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This is about to be shown on tv. So the question is, do I watch and read the book after.
Ignore and read the book first, then the film. Oh decisions decisions!
Thing is I have no more room in my shelf and the film looks good.

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Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting I appreciate it (: what is your name?

Karen 🙂

Nice to meet you Karen my name is Aimee (:

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Oh definitely watch the movie. The movie is a perfect adaption to be honest and it is not too be missed.

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Of course read the book when you can but yes, watch the movie!

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I just realised this message is from 13 hours ago so did you watch it? (:

It’s not been on yet. It’s a trailer for what is coming up in a few weeks.
Will watch though. 🙂

Oh ok but yes definitely watch it and come back and let me know what you think! (:

I think my first thoughts are that I expected it to be in the room pretty much for the whole film. I guess it was for the first hour, but once they were out the film weakened for me. Maybe the book manages to capture the imagination where the film lacks.
I know it’s fiction but it didn’t seem that realistic or believable to me. The actress looked too healthy and again the book probably would paint a different interpretation? We saw a quick scene of her exercising but mentally she wouldn’t cope would she? Would anyone or do we become institutionalised, in which case she then seemed to cope with the outside world. She spent two years in solitary confinement bar him spending the night to either sleep or entertain himself.
I have read and seen Flowers In The Attic and maybe because I have I didn’t find it that fantastic. It was good but it didn’t grip me as I expected.

You have wrote down some great points actually and I agree with everything you just said!

If I stumble upon the book I will likely by it to try. But I haven’t ordered it to try.

Aww amazing (:

Thank you for enlightening me! I agree though, a book and a movie are completely different and they should have made the movie a lot darker and yes, the actress should have looked a lot worse.

I haven’t seen Flowers in the Attic is it good!? I have heard of it but haven’t watched it yet (:

I think from memory I have only seen the first two films in the series.
I could easily re read the books though so I think they must have been good.
Virginia Andrews is the author, though she might have had a ghostwriter. Someone can correct me on that one.

Are the books better than the movies? I am really intrigued now! (:

Yes because your imagination is part of the story. Some people don’t read because they can’t visualize. This book is pretty dark I suppose.

Your point is so true. I think you so have to have a visual imagination to be able to read. Maybe that is why a lot of people don’t do it!

It truly is a dark novel though but it is about an important issue which happens often and is happening now.

That’s why I think books are really great, especially ones that raise important issues because I think it is important to know about these issues and not be blind to them. We need awareness.

What do you think? (:

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Hi there! I have not spoken to you in a very long time, I just wanted to see how you have been and what great books you have read recently? I am in dire need of book recommendations and I know you probably have many! I am looking forward to hearing from you!

Hi there! I have not spoken to you in a very long time, I just wanted to see how you have been and what great books you have read recently? I am in dire need of book recommendations and I know you probably have many! I am looking forward to hearing from you!

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