Here it is yall… my next review for my #firstthoughtsfiction segement. I know it’s been a minute.
So, I’ve never been the type to read a book before watching the movie… and the book Room by Emma Donoghue wasn’t the exception to the rule. I enjoyed the book, as well as the movie (it’s on Netflix) but I was skeptical in even wanting to complete the book nor watch the movie just because it was such a slow start for the story to pick up while reading. I must admit, when I started the book life happened (brown skin girl emoji shrug), so that could be a small part as to why it took me a minute to start.
Emma Donoghue is a best selling author with multiple books; Room being one of the books that put her on the best selling charts. This book is raw, intense, whimsical, and heavy just to give a few details. Don’t be expecting it to be all sunshine and rainbows, you’ll definitely need to take a break sometimes.
What made this book so different was, it was told in the perspective of the little boy, Jack. Room was about a mother “Ma” who lived with her son Jack in an 11 x 11 room. She was kidnapped and raped and held captive for years until she was able with the help of her son to escape. The first half of this book is all about Ma and Jack in room. He perceives everything as “fake” except themselves. Although this book was deep and unbearable at times, there were times where Donoghue showed Jack’s intelligence but also his young-mindedness; you’ll have to read the book to truly understand what I mean.
The second half of the book was about Jack and Ma’s escape and what their lives were like after being free. For me, the second half was easier to swallow, but you could tell that even being ‘home’ for Jack was different. For the mother she struggled and suffered from being able to express herself. She was resilient and did everything she could with the circumstances she was given to protect herself and her son; but being in a ‘normal’ environment took a toll on her (depicted only in the movie).
In Room for Jack he seemed comfortable, at ease and safe. He didn’t quiet understand that outside of room there was a whole world he knew nothing about. I loved how Donoghue portrayed Jack’s emotions with learning all of this new information. It was a lot for him as a five-year-old boy to go from having only knowing the room to the world. In the movie, I think Jack was depicted as he was in the novel. You could see and feel while reading how he had to handle his old and new life.
What I wish was consistent in the book more so than the movie, was you were able to see more about Jack and Ma after they were freed. It showed their everyday life, how Jack adapted too his life outside of room, and more importantly his moms role. She struggled once they were free and wasn’t able to tend to her son, even though she was able too go above and beyond as best she could in the book. Donoghue’s attention to detail was given more life in the movie from Ma’s perspective. I always hear “the movie was better than the book”, but in my opinion that is never the case. I’m a true book lover at heart. Reading a book gives way more detail for me than watching the movie.
When reading this book, please have an open mind. Although I didn’t (lol) and it took me a few times to get the ball rolling, over all it was enjoyable. It was difficult at times to remember that the perspective of the book was told in Jack’s voice. That’s something I had to get use too, but that’s something that kept me intrigued the more I continued to read as well.
If I could leave you with this, imagine being the characters in Room, at least five year old Jack. You have the whole world to live, breath, and make an impression. Leave your mark on the world in someway shape or form. As I type this, I think that’s something the book taught me. Being confined in one space and thinking that’s all there is, you’ll never succeed. Take this book in a sense as a learning lesson. Don’t be confined to thinking you need to stay in one area in your life. Grow, change, and adapt to the circumstances you’re given, even sometimes if they are bad. Things will get better, and you’ll have plenty of time, and space to make a difference and start over. Everyday.