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.
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.
Told entirely in the language of the energetic, pragmatic five-year-old Jack, ROOM is a celebration of resilience and the limitless bond between parent and child, a brilliantly executed novel about what it means to journey from one world to another.
I found this book a little hard to get into at first. I think it took about 3 or 4 chapters to decide whether or not I would finish it or just say ‘I tried’. I did finish it. The POV from the 5 year old Jack makes it a tough read at first. As bad as it makes me sound, I found it hard to get into because of the POV. It was a tad confusing and made me think something was seriously wrong with him. It takes a while to understand that he has a limited view of the world- which his world is his Room. But the way it’s all written, it just makes you REALLY think about what’s going on and what he’s saying. As it goes along, you begin to understand that something isn’t right with him or his mom’s life. And then, like punch to the stomach, you realize they live in that Room and it’s because they were kidnapped and held hostage. The more you hear the story, the more angry you become with Old Nick and the more you wonder how she lived so long and why she would want to keep the child of her captor but really, how could she not. As a mother, I understand how she can keep him and hide him so this monster can’t ever see or touch Jack. There is judgement but once you see the WHOLE picture and learn how young she is and was when she was captured then you just have tears in your eyes and it’s hard to keep them from falling. I can’t imagine anything like this. So even though the Ma isn’t that smart, as you can tell from what she taught her son, she comes up with a great and very smart plan of getting them out. And it works.
The overwhelming part that I felt was when they did get rescued and they’re out in the world and Jack just doesn’t understand anything. I mean he’s been in such a small Room for so long that his understanding of the real world, of Outside, is hard to take in for him. It breaks your heart. But really, what can you expect from a 5 yr old who has only known one person his whole life. And who just recently learned that Outside is real and not just something he sees on the tv.
It may take some time to get into the book but it’s a good read. It may take a few days to read because of the subject matter but it’s worth the time.
Now time to watch the movie!
4 out of 5 stars!