Emma Donoghue

Plot Overview

Five-year-old Jack and his mother, whom he calls "Ma", live in a secured room in which they are confined in. Their captor, known as "Old Nick", had abducted Jack's mother many years prior to his birth and has kept them locked in a secret room to which only he has access to. He provides them neccessities, such as food and medicine. When Ma learns that Old Nick has been laid off and risks foreclosure on his house, she realizes that she and Jack must find a way to escape or be killed.

Emotions Experienced While Reading




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The theme of Room focused on the concept of a home and what makes it one. For Jack, Room is all he has ever known and very much a home. He shares this space with his mother, who he loves, and connects Room to their relationship. For Ma, Room will never be a home because she was captured and locked here. She has no loved ones here and feels very confined, having experienced the outside world. It also has a strong theme of the relationship between a parent and their child. Room explores the unique bond that Ma and Jack possess.

Who Would Read It?

People who would like Room:

  • Like realistic fiction
  • Like drama and suspense
  • Appreciate emotional stories
  • Can handle intense/mature content (ex. death)

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Quotes from Room

"Do we go into TV for dreaming?" "No. We're never anywhere but here." Her voice sounds a long way away. (Loc. 656)

“I cried till I didn’t have any tears left,” she tells me. “I just lay here counting the seconds.” “How many seconds?” I ask her. “Millions and millions of them.” “No, but how many exactly?” “I lost count,” says Ma. (Loc. 18-20)