Rarely do I purchase hardcover books... not only do I think they're too expensive, but I kind of hate the bulk of them. However, I was dying to get my hands on this book and after passing it a million and one times at B&N I just picked it up.
Room by Emma Donoghue is a novel about a little boy, Jack and his world. Jack grew up in Room. He has never stepped outside the 4 walls of this small room and he has never met anyone outside of his Ma and Old Nick. The novel is told from Jack's perspective... all he knows is Room and what he sees on Tv, although the reality of Tv is not at all real to him. With no windows, fresh air or contact with anything outside of Room, Jack's knowledge of reality is skewed. To Jack, Room (and Wardrobe, Lamp, Remote, Ma...) is all the reality there is. There is no world outside of the 4 walls.
As the story unfolds, we learn that Jack's Ma was abducted and forced into Room by Old Nick. She has been there for years with nothing more than the food Old Nick supplies and what is in Room. Ma does have the daily necessities, but what good is a bed or food or Tv when you're locked away and held against your will?
When Jack was born, Ma had something to live for. She lived for Jack and she lived to protect him from Old Nick and the harsh reality of his existence. For 5 years of his life, all Jack knows is that Room and what Ma teaches him. Ma leaves out a lot- for instance, what is beyond the 4 walls of their Room.
When Jack begins to ask more and more questions, Ma beings to 'unlie' and starts revealing the truth behind Room. Jack and Ma hatch a master plan to free themselves once and for all from Old Nick. As it happens, we see it from Jack's eyes. The scary idea of Outside and the plan of escape. Jack has to be brave and save his Ma.
Once Jack and Ma are free of Old Nick, an entire new story evolves. Jack must discover this new world and make sense of what he has missed for 5 years. How can a little boy who has known nothing of the world make sense of it? And how can Ma transition back into the world she has been locked away from?
Emma Donoghue weaves a beautifully tragic story. She uncovers the resiliency of both Jack & Ma and leads the reader down a dark path towards freedom. I have already loaned this book out to multiple people and have encouraged my Mom and her book club to read this for their next pick. I loved this novel- it pulled my heart. Everyone should read this... everyone!
write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow