Author: Emma Donoghue
Publisher: Back Bay Books
Published Date: May 18th 2011
Genre: Fiction, Adult, Realistic Fiction
Page Count: 321
My Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
To five-year-old-Jack, Room is the world. . . . It's where he was born, it's where he and his Ma eat and sleep and play and learn. 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's the prison where she has been held for seven years. Through her fierce love for her son, she has created a life for him in this eleven-by-eleven-foot space. But with Jack's curiosity building alongside her own desperation, she knows that Room cannot contain either much longer.
Room is a tale at once shocking, riveting, exhilarating--a story of unconquerable love in harrowing circumstances, and of the diamond-hard bond between a mother and her child.
“Scared is what you're feeling. Brave is what you're doing.”
This is one of those books where it’s very hard to write a review, because you don’t want to spoil it for anyone.
I know a lot of people felt disconnected from the characters because it is told from Jack’s perspective. I personally found that it worked. Of course at times you do get a little annoyed with him and wish he would just do what his Ma tells him to do, you also realize that to him this 12 ft room is all he knows and that is how big his world has always been. The real world is something that’s just in TV, it’s not real.
I also felt bad for him after a while to. His Ma completely turned his world upside down over a 24 hour time period. One day he was four and his world was “normal” and then the day after his fifth birthday she tells him that there’s more out there and that he has grandparents and that she used to live in the real world. That Old Nick took her one day by asking her to help him find his dog, and that he had a sibling. That’s a lot for anyone to take in all at once, let alone a child. Then she asks him to help her get them out of there so they can be in the real world. The only problem is it involves Jack having to deal with Old Nick (who has never seen him) and try to get away from him and get to the cops who will then save Ma.
Jack is a very strong little boy, and you can tell his just wanted to make his Ma happy while still trying to hold on to some little bit of his old life. When they got separated for a while and he was left with people he didn’t know, you could tell that he was scared, but also wanted to trust them and get to know them.
Ma is also an extremely strong person, she always tried to keep up a facade in order to keep Jack safe, she hid him from Old Nick, and taught him school. She made sure he had exercise and healthy meals. She did all of this without any help from anyone. She never got any alone time as well and always had to make sure she was keeping up the facade and keeping him in the shadows to make sure he was always safe. She never let Old Nick get to him or see him and made sure that Jack never wanted for much at all and didn't just because a TV zombie. She did what she could in the circumstances to make sure he could have some sort of life if they ever got out of "Room."
I had so many different types of emotions while reading this book, and I was on the edge of my seat for the middle part. Overall I did enjoy this book, even though it was extremely sad and rather depressing at times. It still gave an insight into what life would be like for these people and how disgusting some other individuals are.
“Outside has everything. Whenever I think of a thing now like skis or fireworks or islands or elevators or yo-yos, I have to remember they're real, they're actually happening in Outside all together. It makes my head tired. And people too, firefighters teachers burglars babies saints soccer players and all sorts, they're all really in Outside. I'm not there, though, me and Ma, we're the only ones not there. Are we still real?”
Why wasn’t Ma trying to figure out the code for the keypad? There are only so many combinations it could be, and you know that at one point or another Old Nick would have forgotten to block it with his body. Or that the keypad, would have started to wear off where he kept using the same numbers.