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 am honestly not really sure how to describe my feelings for this book. It has received a lot of raves throughout the media and blogosphere. And, I can understand why. The book is truly one that pulls at the heartstrings . . . a LOT! However, in order for me to get my full feeling across on my personal reaction, let's break it down a bit . . .
The writing . . . At first, this book was very difficult for me to get into. The entire story is told from the perspective of 5-year-old Jack. I had to ease into the first chapter very slowly as I adjusted to the perspective and became more fully acquainted with where the story was going. Once I was able to better appreciate who the story was coming from, I was better able to understand and appreciate the writing itself.
Speaking of perspective . . . I have a son about the same age as Jack. I have multiple conversations a day with this child and I know him better than anyone else! BUT, it is so hard for me to "get" him sometimes! I am always asking myself . . . "What is that kid thinking?" Despite the fact that I was once five and that I live with a child about the same age, it took me a bit to really figure out the "simple" (for really a lack of a better word!) language. For example, "to have some" . . . I had no idea what this was until probably 50 pages into the book. Then, the light bulb went on and many more things began making sense. The pieces of the puzzle began connecting. And, my appreciation of the book increased! The writer really had to take quite a few steps back in time to get into the shoes of a 5-year-old . . . and not just any 5-year-old, but one that knows nothing more than the Room.
The subject . . . I knew going into this read that it was not going to be a light-hearted story. It's a "heavy" topic that comes with a multitude of emotions. I caught myself with tears in my eyes, my chest tense with anger, sitting on the edge of my seat as I was cheering on Jack and Ma, and smiling at the smallest of accomplishments. Even if you know the topic being addressed, even when you prepare yourself, the book has an impact on you that will last. It makes me appreciate the small things in my life. It makes me realize just how deep the love for my children runs. And, it makes me a bit frightened of what is out my front door.
Have you read Donoghue's Room? Share your thoughts, join in the discussion, and share a link of your review.