To five-year-old Jack, Room is the entire world. It is where he was born and grew up; it's where he lives with his Ma as they learn and read and eat and sleep and play. At night, his Ma shuts him safely in the wardrobe, where he is meant to be asleep when Old Nick visits.I was immediately gripped by this novel. It is a very difficult subject to think about and does draw out a number of emotions but I could not put it down.
Room is home to Jack, but to Ma, it is the prison where Old Nick has held her captive for seven years. Through determination, ingenuity, and fierce motherly love, Ma has created a life for Jack. But she knows it's not enough...not for her or for him. She devises a bold escape plan, one that relies on her young son's bravery and a lot of luck. What she does not realize is just how unprepared she is for the plan to actually work.
The story is told by Jack, a 5 year old, who grew up with an 11x11 room as his entire world. Jacks Ma has never told him anything about the outside world. His world consists of this room and the objects in it that he lovingly has given proper names, Wardrobe, Bed, Meltedy Spoon. Ma, finally, decides she can take no more and devises a plan of escape. From there on Jacks world is turned completely upside-down.
Donoghues ability to tell the story through the voice of a 5 year old blew me away. She crawls inside his mind and portrays it in an incredibly descriptive way. I found myself feeling everything he did. I felt his panic and his frustration. I felt his happiness and his anger. I think she did an amazing job giving him a voice.
I have read many reviews that complain that Jacks speech is to infantile and "cutesy", I disagree. Jack was raised in a tiny room, his only companions, other than Ma, were cartoons on TV. There was no reason for him to lose the baby talk. He is delayed in a lot of different ways, speech just being one of them. This is completely understandable given the way he was raised.
I did find myself, at times, wanting to get inside Mas head. I wanted to hear her thoughts when Jack is having such a hard time coping. You see her frustration through his eyes but it would have been nice to hear it from her. Though that would have changed the dynamic of the book and this book was fantastic as is. Emma Donoghue is a brilliant story teller and this book is well worth reading.
4.5 out of 5 stars
BUY IT HERE: Room: A NovelContemporary Literature)