By Emma Donoghue
This wonderful novel is about Jack, a five-year-old boy who is locked in a single room with his mother, a young college student, abducted from campus some seven years earlier. The story is unique in that it is narrated by Jack, who only knows life inside the room. His mother, a loving and intelligent young woman, nurtures Jack and educates him as best she can with limited resources, and under constant fear of her Abductor, ‘Old Nick’.
The narrative style is cleverly crafted to resemble the mind of a five-year-old. His interpretations of the egg shell snake and his references to Bed and Rug as if friends, makes him an engaging character which is both believable and lovable. While the story itself is tragic and at times challenging to read, the ability of Donoghue to explore what strength can come from adversity and the resilience we hold within us, makes this a truly compelling read. Donoghue’s characters draw us in as they both endure the confines of the room yet maintain a sense of order and family.
An absolutely wonderful read, which challenges us in both its style and content.