Friday, April 21, 2017
Rating: PG (although the subject matter is quite mature, since it is told through Jack's eyes, there's an innocence to it. There is no language, and the only mentions of sex are when Jack tells you he counts the bed squeaks when Old Nick comes in.)
Summary: 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.
My Thoughts: I found this book to be completely riveting. I read it in 2 days! I think the fact that this book is written from Jack's perspective is genius. It manages to soften the entire thing so a scaredy cat person like me can read it without getting nightmares.
So the book begins with Jack just describing what life is like in Room. He and Ma have a very close relationship - they usually sleep together in the bed, and although he is 5 years old, Jack is still breastfeeding. Later in the book Ma explains that there was just really no reason to stop, which makes sense. Although they do have a TV in Room, Ma tries hard to make sure that Jack doesn't watch too much of it. She makes up a million other activities for them to do together to keep his brain working and his body active.
Jack believes that Room is the only place that exists. He knows that Old Nick comes from outside, but he has no concept of what outside is like. He thinks that everything he sees on TV is just made up. Other people don't exist, animals aren't real, etc.
Eventually Ma decides it's time to escape. The second half of the book deals with their adjustment to the outside world. It is just so fascinating and interesting. I highly recommend this book!
It was so interesting to me how Jack and Ma react differently to being on the outside. Everyone seems to expect Jack to be happy and excited, but he just wants to go back to Room because it's all he knows. For him it wasn't a harrowing nightmare, it was just life, and he was happy.
I also love Jack's observation towards the end of the book that a lot of the parents don't seem to like their children. They take a picture when they do something cute but most of the time they're more interested in their friends or their phones. How true is that?