Read this book!

March 28, 2011 at 1:27 pm Leave a comment

Five-year-old Jack has never left Room.  Not his room, not the room, simply ROOM, the only place he’s ever known.  He’s never played outside, never visited his grandparents, never been to the zoo or the playground or preschool.  His whole world consists of his mother, whom he calls Ma, and the man he calls Old Nick.  Old Nick only visits at night, and Jack merely glimpses Old Nick through the slats of the wardrobe, where he sleeps when Nick comes to Room.

The book is simply called Room, by Emma Donoghue.  Just after his fifth birthday, Ma tells Jack the truth about Room: she was kidnapped and is being held hostage by Old Nick, and there is an entire outside world that she has never told Jack about until now.  Now that he is five, Ma tells him, Jack is instrumental in the scheme she has concocted to try for freedom and rejoin the world outside Room.

This riveting story is told in Jack’s voice from his point of view.  He is wise beyond his years in terms of language and math, because they have had plenty of time to focus on education.  However, he is completely behind in things we would regard as common sense, simply because he has never been exposed to basic, everyday things.

Throughout the story, I kept reflecting on how crazy I would go if I was the mother of a young child, and we couldn’t leave the room for years.  I get stir crazy if we don’t leave the house for more than a day.  Can you imagine being locked up in a 12×12 room with a small, energetic child, day after day?  It is no wonder, then, that Ma has days of depression so deep that she can’t leave her bed.  It’s those days that Jack dreads, days when he must fend for and entertain himself until Ma comes back to herself.

This is a must read, great for book clubs and individuals alike.


Entry filed under: Book review.

I actually wanna be a soccer mom. Things my daughter says.

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