Room – Emma Donogue

“To say Room is based on the Fritzl case is too strong,” she says firmly. “I’d say it was triggered by it. The newspaper reports of Felix Fritzl [Elisabeth’s son], aged five, emerging into a world he didn’t know about, put the idea into my head.”
Emma Donoghue has to be inspired by this case, since there is no other way to describe the situation without any example. Room’s about a five year old boy, Jack. He lives with his mom in a room. It’s written from Jack’s perspective which makes it easy to read. It also makes you curious, because you only know what Jack knows. For example it’s unsure in the beginning why they’re even in the room.Jack has – from his perspective – a perfect and structured life with a lot of games and stories.His mom on the other hand, has a different feeling about the room, she feels like a prisoner since she was captured by ‘Uncle Nick’ and locked up in a room in his garden. He’s the one bringing the basic groceries into the room. She feels like there’s no escape possible, and that seems to be true.
Things change when Uncle Nick loses his job, which means no more groceries. From that moment Jack’s mom has to figure out a plan to rescue herself, but mainly her son Jack. But first she has to admit to Jack that there even ís an outside world. Ofcourse it’s hard for Jack to understand how it will be like to be in the outside world, because he only knows the things outside room from TV and he believes they’re not real. His mom explains the world outside their room by comparing it to stories she reads with Jack or TV programmes they have watched.


The part that was most powerful in the book was the escape. First to read how Jack and his mom try everything they can, mostly dangerous and frightning because the risc to get caught is enourmous and may cost the life of both of them. Another part that really hits the reader is when Jack and his mom practise all day for the escape when Jack almost dies practising being dead. To realise that he does all this without knowing what the outisde-world would be like is impressive to read. This is only possible because he trusts his mom so much.

The part when Jack escapes is even more thrilling because he’s the one who’s telling the story and the reader can identify with. The book was interesting and an easyreader. It shows that eventhough you might consider this story as fiction, things like this still – seldomly -happen in the world.


Written by Eline Sparreboom V5E

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