8 June 11 ETA:
I just stumbled on
in Stylish.co.uk with Emma Donoghue (in 2010?) and found it interesting. Thought I'd share with those interested in her thoughts on writing a book such as this.
is such a hard book to read and to review. One reason I can't bring myself to rate this book 5★s is because it somehow feels wrong? to rate little Jack's story at all.
Jack has just turned 5 years old. He lives in Room (12'x12') with his Ma. Room and it's minimal contents are all he's ever known because, unknown to him, Mama was kidnapped when she was 19, seven years ago and they are being held captive by "Old Nick".
Ma does a great job of caring for and teaching Jack, in fact he sometimes sounds smarter than some children his age. But, you learn that, what first appears to be true knowledge, is only what he's seen and heard on their TV. Ma makes sure that Jack has a well-rounded day. There's exercise, only one hour of TV because "TV will rot your brain and your cells need time to grow back", reading and games. One game is the "Yelling Game", where they spend time looking up into the skylight, yelling and making as much noise as they can. We, the readers, know that this is in an attempt to be rescued, but Jack sees it as just another game in their daily routine.
Jack's given life to all the inanimate things in Room. There's Rug, which still sports the stain from his birth, Wardrobe, where he sleeps, Bed, etc. For all intense and purposes, he seems like a normal, heathy, happy child. In fact, he's a brave, naive captive who is about to learn his world is so very much larger than he could have ever imagined. (view spoiler)[Once Jack and Ma are free, I was frequently upset by the way that she seemed to no longer have time for Jack and his questions at the time when he was his most vulnerable. But, after letting the story settle a bit and reflecting back on it, I realized that she was going through her own kind of trouble re-adjusting to the world, making it difficult for her to help him along. Then, I come back to my frustration because she is able to RE-adjust, having spent the first 19 years of her life in the real world, while Jack is experiencing all of it, so much of it frightening, for the very first time. I was so thankful that Jack had a man like his step-grandpa, who took time to explain things to him. (hide spoiler)]
Jack's journey was sometimes gripping, consistently painful, and at the heart of it, amazing. He proves the strength of the human spirit and his is never diminished.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>