Source: Book Club Read (Borrowed)
Room by Emma Donohogue
Genre: Contemporary, Adult Fiction
Pages: 321 (paperback)
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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.Five-year-old details his life from his view in a small little world known as "room." Through his eyes, we see the life a kidnapped woman as she tries to raise a young boy in one room, survive with her captor, and hold on for hope when she will be free. Jack is unique in that is perspective is very limited and innocent. However, his mother's dream is not Jack's dream and he struggles to understand a world that is much bigger than he ever imagined.
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.
This was my first book club book read and I have to say that this story is extremely creepy. It's not a horror or anything but it's difficult reading this one without getting that slimy feeling. I believe this book identifies the fear that everyone has but doesn't know that they have. I enjoyed this read but was very upset about the ending but I'll get to that. This book is so interesting because it is told from the point-of-view of a 5-year old boy that has always lived inside of a room. His joys and life are so small and he doesn't even know it. At the same time, we see the struggles that his young mom has and it is so vivid. It is even more interesting as Jack's world expands and he struggles in ways that I never expected. Although reading from Jack's point-of-view was interesting, I wished the point-of-view had switched at times because his five-year-old "speak" really annoyed and irritated me during crucial parts where I just wanted to know what the adults were thinking. I hated the end and it almost ruined it for me because I felt as though the characters ended back full circle. I wanted to see some real progress and I just didn't feel that's how it ended.
Overall, a great book club read. I literally started this book when I got into the bathtub and I didn't get out of the tub until I had finished it--cold water and all. It's an oldie but a goodie.