Book Review: Room by Emma Donoghue — CONTAINS SPOILERS

My Rating: ★★★★★

Genre(s): Fiction; Adult Fiction; Contemporary

Plot: [From Goodreads] 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. Told entirely in the language of the energetic, pragmatic five-year-old Jack, Room is a celebration of resilience and the limitless bond between parent and child, a brilliantly executed novel about what it means to journey from one world to another.

This review contains spoilers. If you have not read this book, please do not read beyond this point!


  • Jack’s innocent point of view was a unique way to tell a story, and once he was Outside and around other people, his “speech” improved
  • Anatomical correctness
  • Happy ending
  • The way Ma made this little life for Jack even with limited resources
  • Extended breastfeeding ftw
  • They got out, and old Nick went to jail!
  • The way Jack learned about Outside all at once but still piece by piece
  • They went back to Room in the end for closure– so important


  • I was scared for their lives
  • Ma’s mother
  • The tooth thing grossed me out so much

Favorite Quotes: 

  • “Scared is what you’re feeling. Brave is what you’re doing.”
  • “Everybody’s damaged by something.”
  • “People move around so much in the world, things get lost.”
  • “Me and Ma have a deal, we’re going to try everything one time so we know what we like.”
  • “In Room me and Ma had time for everything. I guess the time gets spread very thin like butter all over the world, the roads and houses and playgrounds and stores, so there’s only a little smear of time on each place, then everyone has to hurry on to the next bit….”

My Thoughts: This book. This. book. I would say this is definitely one of the best books I’ve read all year. Being told from Jack’s point of view made it so, so special. The emotion was so real, and Jack’s view of the world is innocent but also bigger than his age. I definitely recommend tissues with this book!

Emma Donoghue

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