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Room by Emma Donoghue is a beautiful, brilliant, devastating, moving, and wholly original novel. The premise is deceptively simple and sinister in the same moment; a mother and her son are captives together in a room measuring eleven feet by eleven feet. However, it is in her execution that Donoghue manages to elevate the narrative to a heartbreaking genius as the reader experiences this microcosm of a world through the eyes of the five-year-old Jack. Being a child narrator, he brings his own innocence and naïve sensibilities that communicate in ways which are at turns cute or quaint and then horrifying or heart wrenching. Donoghue adeptly touches on a number of issues with the subtlety of a master in social commentary, all while infusing the characters of Ma and Jack with enough uniquely flawed beauty to earn them places among the great and unforgettable characters of literature. As I read I was carried away by this book; my heart raced, my eyes teared up, and once I’d turn the final page, I felt a great catharsis from having experienced this novel.

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