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Room by Emma Donoghue | Book Review + Questions

Updated: Sep 12, 2023

Hey, you! What have you been reading these days? 😊

Well, for my part, I took the time during the lockdown to re-read one of my favourite books, Room by Emma Donoghue. It's the story of a young girl who has been kidnapped and forced to live in a locked room. Years later, she gives birth to a little boy in this room. This story is about maternal-child love and survival and is told from the point of view of the 5-year old boy. It's touching and heartbreaking, but also poetic. What I love is that there is a before and an after, contrary to most similar stories. We get to read about the after and surviving the pressure from the outside world. Sometimes from within the inner circle. It's hard to understand one's choices if we don't live the same experience. Realising that while Ma's life stopped the day she was kidnapped, as hard as it might have been, her loved ones didn't. Their life continued without her. Life went on. At first, I felt that Jack and Ma were outside looking in, but au contraire, they were those red goldfish in aquariums, with people pointing at them, careful not to break the glass.

I read this book years ago for the first time and cried. I watched the movie and cried (the Husband as well, which is quite rare). I thought I wouldn't cry this time around, but I did.

And this is exactly what I loved about this book. The emotions that it brings out of me. From being a woman and a mother.

Someone mentioned that I liked sad book at the last book club session we had. Perhaps, it's true. But, come to think of it, this isn't sad. They survived, didn't they? ❤️

Anyways, here are some questions that I found online that I thought would be great for conversations regarding the book:

  1. What did you think the fact that the story is entirely told by Jack's point of view? Did it bother you?

  2. How different would it have been if it had been told from Ma's voice?

  3. Should Ma have asked Old Nick to take care of Jack in the outside world?

  4. What would have been your Sunday treat request?

  5. What would you have missed most from the outside world?

  6. What do you think would have happened to Ma if she had never given birth to Jack?

  7. What were you most affected by in the book?

  8. Was the ending realistic? Are you left wanting more?

  9. If you were a reporter, what would you have asked Ma?

  10. Did you enjoy the book?

xoxo Elodie

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