Well before Emma Donaghue was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the Orange Prize for Room we all knew there was something special about this book.
The narrator, and our entire scope of the story, is the voice of a child, but going deeper it showcases a much more serious human bond between mother and child as well as the ability of the human mind to manipulate another.
Room is about a young woman who was abducted as a teenager, and, having been repeatedly raped by her captor, gives birth to her son Jack. It takes us through the life of Jack, who leaves with his Ma in Room. In following their lifestyle we get to understand their use of vocabulary and the rather unusual relationship they forge with pieces of furniture. The book has strongly influences from the story of Elizabeth Fritzl with special emphasis on the relationships of everyone involved from the victim to perpetrator.
The voice of the child takes getting used to, but once you get past this and the fact that these individuals are living under duress you get absorbed in the fundamentals of their lifestyle. Ma’s relationship with her son is that of a typically protective parent, hiding Jack in 'Wardrobe' when Nick comes to 'Room', and standing up to her captor when it comes to her son’s welfare. Routine exercises that Ma and Jack engage in should become monotonous to the reader however Donoghue's writing style gives these an important place in the lives of her characters.
The desire to find the driving force behind Ma’s willpower and desire to hang in there whilst in Room and how she deals with the new world will keep you glued to this book. By the end of it all you will be asking yourself why Ma did all that she did in Room and why she responded to her freedom, “if you can call it freedom”, in the manner she did.