Loo Review

Sept 2013

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Room by Emma Donoghue

This is the story of a mother, her son, a locked room and the outside world. Jack is five and, like any little boy, excited at the prospect of presents and cake. He's looking forward to telling his friends it's his birthday, too. But although Jack is a normal child in many ways - loving, funny, bright, full of energy and questions - his upbringing is far from ordinary: Jack's entire life has been spent in a single room that measures just 12 feet by 12 feet; as far as he's concerned, Room is the entire world. He shares this world with his mother, with Plant, and tiny Mouse (though Ma isn't a fan and throws a book at Mouse when she sees him). There's TV too, of course - and the cartoon characters he thinks of as his friends - but Jack knows that nothing else he sees on the screen is real. Old Nick, on the other hand, is all too real, but only visits at night - like a bat - when Jack is meant to be asleep and hidden safely in Wardrobe. And only Old Nick has the code to Door, which is otherwise locked...

It doesn't sound like a promising story, but this book will grab you by the heart and you won't be able to put it down. Told entirely by little Jack's voice, it is a story that will linger in your memory.