This book is a true masterpiece. Donoghue’s Room is a beautiful portrait of a mother’s love and the resilience of the human psyche. I heard a lot of hype about the novel, because it was made into an Oscar-nominated film in 2015. I decided to read the book before seeing the movie and I am SO glad I did! The movie was excellent, but the book was much better.
Plot: A woman was kidnapped and kept in a single room for years, giving birth to a baby boy in the midst of her captivity. Instead of giving up the fight, Ma decides to make life as normal as possible for her child, Jack. Therefore, she tells her child nothing about the world outside of their room. Yet one day, when Jack is five, Ma realizes that circumstances have changed and they need to plan their escape as soon as possible. The story is told from the perspective of five year old Jack, as he discovers the truth of the outside world for the first time.
Donoghue beautifully tells the story from Jack’s perspective, and uses language that makes readers feel as if they were reading a five-year-old’s diary. This novel manages to use simple language to tell a complex, beautifully moving story.
Disclaimer: The book features many graphic elements, therefore, it definitely is not for every reader. The horrors of their world in captivity are hard to swallow at times. But Donoghue manages to tell the story authentically, while not ignoring the plight of her characters, yet still maintaining a naive narrative voice.
This book was a masterpiece, and one of the most beautiful works of fiction I have ever read. I will definitely be re-reading it for years to come!