Emma Donoghue‘s Room is the incredibly heartbreaking fictional story of a young boy who is born and raised inside of a single room in a shed where his mother is held captive and raped on a nightly basis. Wow. No way to avoid the blatant truth of the story.
The story is told through the young boy’s eyes and his attachment to his mother’s own personal hell is hard to take. He feels safe in room, with their Sunday treat and sleeping in the closet so Uncle Nick (their captor) can’t see him. His mother really struck me as a strongly written character. She was written in a very realistic manner and I found myself understanding her mood swings and occasional bouts of depression.
The poor little boy is just coping in his room, with tv and his books and toys. His focus is on their daily allotment of food and his mother really focuses on giving her adequate nutrition and education in their limited surroundings. Eventually, his mother comes up with a grand plan to escape, but she will need the little boy’s help. He is not interested in leaving the safety of room, but he goes along with his mother’s desperate plan to free themselves from the shed in Uncle Nick’s backyard.
This story is hard. Hard to read. Hard to swallow. Hard to think about and imagine what women who have lived in similar circumstances to this fictional novel have gone through. As a novel, I found it dragged a bit in the middle… just a lot of monotony, but the overall message was fantastic! Definitely a great novel, but have some tissues at the ready!