My Rating: 3/5 Stars
Since reading this book’s blurb I knew that it will be an emotional read and I was not wrong. This is my first book from Emma Donoghue and after seeing that it was turned into a movie, I definitely wanted to convince myself it was worth all the attention it was receiving.
The story-line follows Joy, a woman who has been held captive with her 5-year-old son Jack in a room. Jack was born there and he didn’t have any exterior contact, being kept there for years. All this time, his mother tries to adjust him to their temporary world, protecting him from their abductor.While doing this, Joy is preparing Jack for their escape.
This book got me very confused and intrigued in the same time. It is very complicated to judge without being in their situation. Joy was desperate to escape that room, being able to use Jack as a mean to obtain that. As the years passed and they were still there, the things she was able to do kind of socked me, because in a way put Jack’s life in danger, although she had no intention of harming him. Leaving this aside, I admired Jack so much, as a little innocent boy, who was both scared and brave. The way he handled the situation, understood that it was up to him to save him and his mom, made me very sad that a boy had to go through that.
But the real focus of the book from my POV was on the way the 2 of them handled the outside world. Joy had abducted for 5 years and her interaction with others was cut off and Jack was born in a room, without seeing anything of the outside world. The hospital room was his first interaction and it sincerely broke my heart seeing him fragile and confused. Although, I consider that Jack took it better than his mom. After everything that happened, Joy was left broken and depressed, and not even his son could make her feel better. After a while, she began to completely give in to the depression, leaving Jack alone with his parents. I understood her. Her normal life was taken away from her, her abductor left her pregnant and she had to raise that baby alone, between 4 walls, completely isolated. After breaking free, she no longer had that light in her to keep on going, because she realizes what happened to her and everything just crumbles.
Jack on the other hand, I believe confronted very bravely this new world, adapting and managing to blend eventually. He was the one who managed to ” lift” his mother from the dark and finally guide her to him, to their connection and true relationship.
This psychological twist is very important in the book and PTSD is debated in this unique story that will leave you very emotional after finishing the book. As a friend said, “enjoyed” is not a very appropriate word to describe my feelings when reading this book, but I enjoyed the message and the way if makes you reflect on certain things in life.