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message 1: by Ana (last edited Feb 27, 2016 01:23AM) (new)

Ana (anaslair) | 2312 comments Mod
Hey, guys!

I found this book so amazing I kinda wanted to keep the story going and wonder if those of you who have read it might be up to it.

First of all, what a story! I think the author did a pretty good job getting in the mind of a 5 year old most of the time. A very special 5-year-old.

I've wondered about some questions I would like to discuss with you, some I probably forgot by now:

Why do you think she never gave Jack a haircut? With the germs and stuff it would be easier to wash.

Why do you think the author chose to keep her real name out of the book? I am thinking because it was Jack's story so it wasn't really relevant, as other things that were not further developed.

I think there were hints at there being substance abuse in the family, namely Ma's mother and stepfather. Do you think it had any relevance to Ma developing her pill addiction?

When she was Gone, was it because she took too many pills or was it merely psychological? If the previous, does that mean she tried to kill herself after Jack was born? I am thinking she just became catatonic, but I wonder how far the drug issue goes.

What do you think about Jack's counting? Of cereal, his teeth, etc? Did he pick it up from his Ma, like her thing with Lamp? How did that help her?

What do you think Jack's future will be? Will he adjust well, little by little? He still lives in a bubble. When it burst, what will his reaction be? More fear? Anger? Isolation?

Will his mother be strong enough to face the struggles ahead?


How about you? Did the book leave you with any questions?


message 2: by S.J. (new)

S.J. Higbee (sjhigbee) | 15 comments I followed your link - it jogged my elbow to rejoin Goodreads and I'll be adding a pile of books later tonight:). In response to your questions about ROOM... She didn't cut his hair because she didn't have any scissors - Old Nick didn't give her any. And no... she went catatonic with depression - she suffered badly with toothache after the pregnancies and didn't have painkillers because ALL that stuff had to come through Old Nick and he didn't leave her with anything - I'm guessing she tried to commit suicide after losing the first baby. I don't believe she tried to kill herself after Jack was born, because it was looking after him that gave her strength to carry on - her really rough patch was after she lost the first baby.
It was really interesting that you thought he would be able to move on in the future - whereas I was left with a strong sense that he would always yearn to return to the prison where he had Ma to himself. Clever that the author left that one open, I think.


message 3: by Sorobai (new)

Sorobai | 365 comments Hi Ana, glad to ear from you again.
I read this book last year in our native thoung but I still remember the book well, because like you it had some impact on me.
I was going to answer your questions but I guess SJ answer them for me.


message 4: by Kandice (new)

Kandice I was going to answer your questions, Ana, but SJ gave the same answers I would!

I couldn't agree more that Ma was in deep depression when she was "gone". I would be surprised if Old Nick even gave her aspirin, much less anything that would allow her a chemical escape.

I think she was only able to hold it together as well as she was because if she dies, Jack dies, Simple as that.

I believe Jack will be able to grow up, movie on and lead a normal life. He was so young. Children are so malleable and many don't even have any strong memories before five or so. I'm sure it will take a while, but I think he absolutely will.


message 5: by Ana (new)

Ana (anaslair) | 2312 comments Mod
SJ wrote: "I followed your link - it jogged my elbow to rejoin Goodreads and I'll be adding a pile of books later tonight:). In response to your questions about ROOM... She didn't cut his hair because she did..."

Hi Sarah, so glad you joined the discussion!
And yep, just what you need, a bigger to read list, ey? :)

Thank you for your comment, your answers definitely make sense.
I thought that she didn't have scissors but I guessed she would make do with a knife. I suppose there wasn't a sharp one there.


message 6: by Ana (new)

Ana (anaslair) | 2312 comments Mod
Sorobai wrote: "Hi Ana, glad to ear from you again.
I read this book last year in our native thoung but I still remember the book well, because like you it had some impact on me.
I was going to answer your questio..."


Same answers, ey?

I actually didn't know about this book until recently. Do you think reading the translated version had any downside? I feel like stuff always gets lost in translation so I prefer to read the original.


message 7: by Ana (new)

Ana (anaslair) | 2312 comments Mod
Kandice wrote: "I was going to answer your questions, Ana, but SJ gave the same answers I would!

I couldn't agree more that Ma was in deep depression when she was "gone". I would be surprised if Old Nick even gav..."


Eh there are still some left unanswered, I think!

Yeah I do agree, it was most likely just depression but I have never heard of someone being gone for an entire day and then back to her normal self so I wondered if it was drug induced.

Thank you all for posting, it's awesome to hear some feedback on a book that still hasn't left my mind!


message 8: by Kandice (last edited Feb 27, 2016 01:19PM) (new)

Kandice Why do you think the author chose to keep her real name out of the book? I am thinking because it was Jack's story so it wasn't really relevant, as other things that were not further developed.

I agree. Not only was it Jack's story, but she was a person, with a family, friends and a life before Room. Jack wasn't. He began life in Room and so this is what people will know of him. They have no preconceived notions, but will about her.

I think there were hints at there being substance abuse in the family, namely Ma's mother and stepfather. Do you think it had any relevance to Ma developing her pill addiction?

I read the book a while ago, but I don't remember that! I also don't think Ma was addicted to pills, but we already talked about that.

When she was Gone, was it because she took too many pills or was it merely psychological? If the previous, does that mean she tried to kill herself after Jack was born? I am thinking she just became catatonic, but I wonder how far the drug issue goes.

I have personal experience with relatives that "zone out" for days at a time and then "snap out of it", so I don't find her mental breaks unreal at all. The fact that she always comes back is miraculous to me. That was all about Jack.

What do you think about Jack's counting? Of cereal, his teeth, etc? Did he pick it up from his Ma, like her thing with Lamp? How did that help her?

Yes on everything. I find it admirable just how much she taught him. I know I taught my children to read, write, count, simple arithmetic, all before school and there was so, so much repetition. I think I drove my husband crazy for a few years there, but it works. It becomes habit, routine and almost ritual to count, spell words out instead of just saying them, etc. and this was a way for them to have grounded continuity.

What do you think Jack's future will be? Will he adjust well, little by little? He still lives in a bubble. When it burst, what will his reaction be? More fear? Anger? Isolation?

I think he'll do great and will be a very strong young man.

Will his mother be strong enough to face the struggles ahead?

I think there will be more depression and people will undoubtedly be crappy to her, but I think eventually she will move on. Again, all because of Jack.


message 9: by S.J. (new)

S.J. Higbee (sjhigbee) | 15 comments Thank you for the welcome:). I STILL haven't updated my Goodreads profile, but it is fun to talk books on the forum again. And I thoroughly agree with all of Kandice's comments - I think Ma will have the strength to move forward through her drive to see Jack is sorted.
You're right, of course, children are very tough - and the fact is, due to Ma's amazing efforts, his experience of the Room isn't particularly negative.


message 10: by Sorobai (new)

Sorobai | 365 comments Hi, again. I also don't like translations when I can read the original but I found this book in the biggining of last year in my personal library so I though to give it a try. I never heard about the original until the movie came out. Also the title in portuguese is O Quarto de Jack which means Jacks' Room what is more apt to me anyhow because it puts the story intent on Jack rather than the room. Anyway I though the book in two parts, Jacks view (inside the room) and Mother's view, outside of it. I found that quite interesting and original.
Only difficult I had with the story line is the fact that I have hard to belive that you can entretain a child for 5 years inside a small room without leaving mental disturbances in his development. Let alone physical growing problems.


message 11: by S.J. (new)

S.J. Higbee (sjhigbee) | 15 comments I'm not so sure... Jack hasn't ever known anything else. I had a friend who had a toddler when living on a small boat and cruising around the UK. He didn't move around much and was very happy playing in a small space. I thought the book covered the problems Jack had with the outside world very well. And children thrive when they have the attention of a loving adult - even in the worst of circumstances...


message 12: by Sorobai (new)

Sorobai | 365 comments The book depicts the problems Jack had with the outside world in the way of someone who doesn't know something but what I meant were the psycological problems and trauma that such a experience must leave in a child his age.


message 13: by Kandice (new)

Kandice Sorobai wrote: "The book depicts the problems Jack had with the outside world in the way of someone who doesn't know something but what I meant were the psycological problems and trauma that such a experience must..."

I think the key to his recovery will be that, like SJ said, he knew nothing else. Things are only tragic to us when we have been taught they are or we have a comparison. He had neither, so I think he will view his time in "Room" as just that. His time in Room. Not his awful, effed up, psychologically damaging experience. If he had been born outside and then imprisoned as a toddler...whole different scenario.


message 14: by Sorobai (new)

Sorobai | 365 comments Hi Kandice, thanks for sharing your idea. I agree with you. But this child will grow up into a man. I wonder what will he remember of his time in the Room and what impact will it have in his life. We all heard the old stories of the wolf-childs. Moral of those stories!? All of them don't end well...


message 15: by Kandice (new)

Kandice I just think that his mother did such an amazing job, even with her mental/depression breaks, that he will become a good man. I know that there is a lot to be said for both sides of the nature vs. nurture debate, but I think he has a better chance with that mom than some other child might have.


message 16: by Sorobai (new)

Sorobai | 365 comments Hi again Kandice. I agree. Even if it's hard for me to belive she could do it so well - with all her own problems and so on - I also think he would have a better chance of surviving such experience. The only thing that makes me belive such a story is the power of love. Besides that, I think, this story would end even before starting.


message 17: by Kandice (new)

Kandice Sorobai wrote: "Hi again Kandice. I agree. Even if it's hard for me to belive she could do it so well - with all her own problems and so on - I also think he would have a better chance of surviving such experience..."

I was talking the movie up to people at work yesterday (no hope they will actually READ a book!) and I found myself parroting Brie Larson in her interviews. Will you cry? Probably, but not because of violence or what you actually see on screen, which is minimal, but because of the love and the hope this story represents. Did she suffer? Undoubtedly. But, she survived for Jack and that is all about love. Love can get you through anything and this is the kind of tale to show that.

It's a bit like The Shawshank Redemption being all about hope. Is it awful what happens to Andy along the way? Undoubtedly, but it's hope that carries him through and the novella (and movie) just show us how much hope can live in our hearts and how powerful it can be.


message 18: by Sorobai (new)

Sorobai | 365 comments just about love, I love The Shawshank Redemption!


message 19: by Kandice (new)

Kandice Sorobai wrote: "just about love, I love The Shawshank Redemption!"

I love that entire book, Different Seasons, even the tales that make me sick to read. Such a fine example of good writing.


message 20: by Sorobai (new)

Sorobai | 365 comments Hi Kandice, good morning! I didn't know about that, thanks


message 21: by Kandice (new)

Kandice Sorobai wrote: "Hi Kandice, good morning! I didn't know about that, thanks"

Do you mean the book? It's a collection of four novellas and each is a season and a "feeling" of sorts. Here they are, in order:

Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption (Hope Springs Eternal)
Apt Pupil (Summer of Corruption)
The Body (Fall from Innocence) This is the tale theat the movie Stand by Me was based on
The Breathing Method (A Winter's Tale)

I find it pretty fascinating that 3 of the 4 have been made into movies.


message 22: by Ana (new)

Ana (anaslair) | 2312 comments Mod
Thanks for all your comments, folks, I do agree. As Sorobai, I do wonder what will become of Jack and especially what it would be like to be in Ma's place and keep a young boy constantly entertained. Considering everything she was facing, I just cannot conceive how it would be possible.

I actually found the movie version a bit more accurate in that aspect. Movie's Ma was a bit more selfish, so to speak, showed more emotion.


message 23: by Sorobai (new)

Sorobai | 365 comments Kandice wrote: "Sorobai wrote: "Hi Kandice, good morning! I didn't know about that, thanks"

Do you mean the book? It's a collection of four novellas and each is a season and a "feeling" of sorts. Here they are, i..."


Thank you Kandice. I meant I did not know the book which the movie was based upon.


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