In my mum I have my very own personal library. Every time I see her, she’s armed with a collection of cast-off paperbacks for me, and (my mum’s a creature of habit) they always have one common theme: a child/children in peril. For this reason, her hand-me-downs can – and often do – become a bit same-y. However, I recently read Room by Emma Donoghue, and it most definitely stood out from the rest. Yes, it still has a child in peril – in fact it’s written from said child’s perspective – but it’s one of those books that I just couldn’t stop reading. I’d have probably read it in one sitting if I’d had the time.
The story is about a five-year-old boy, Jack, and his mother. They are being held captive in a small room and have been since before Jack was born. The space and objects between the four walls are all Jack has ever known and, until now, he doesn’t think anything else exists. As I said earlier, it’s written from the boy’s perspective, so the writing style takes a little bit of getting used to – for example, Jack refers to things in the room as if they’re his friends: Bed, Wardrobe, Lamp etc – but this soon becomes more endearing than annoying. In my opinion it’s a very cleverly written and well thought out read, and it most certainly deserved its place on last year’s Man Booker Prize shortlist.
I may not always be a lover of my mum’s offerings (with the exception of Jodi Picoult and Diane Chamberlain), but I’ll definitely be keeping my eyes peeled for more Emma Donoghue books next time the mobile library comes a-calling! If you’re after a heart-warming book that can be read and absorbed very quickly – perhaps on a beach this summer! – then I’d highly recommend it.