PanBookslutHow do you write about abduction and imprisonment, torture and violence, nastiness that is uncomfortably close to truth, without being exploitative? Donoghue’s narrator has extraordinary resilience, and a useful innocence … Overall, Jack emerges as too perfect a narrative voice, a kitschified child wonder. The book leaves us with him and Ma in a home of their own, a content child with his name on his bedroom door. It would be more interesting to meet up with him again in ten years time, typically when post-traumatic stress disorders begin to manifest, and discover how he deals with his conflicting worlds then. Instead, the sustained childlike worldview acts like a hermetic seal on their experience.