A young boy spends the first five years of his life in a single room with his mother, and then they escape.
This is an enthralling book about a fictional woman who spends eight years imprisoned in a shed. For five of those years she raises her son Jack. Their entire world consists of four walls, necessities, and the visits of Old Nick, their captor. Despite the dark nature of their situation, this book contains powerful moments of hope and light.
Jack narrates the story in a voice that is both innocent and precocious. Donoghue artfully shows us this small world through the eyes of a child, while still communicating the desperation and determination of his young mother. Ma emerges as a very real and powerful character, and I felt that this is really her story, even though Jack is technically the main character.
Everything in the world except for Room is not real or "TV" to Jack. When he learns the truth he has to figure out how to live in a world that he believed did not exist. In the second half of the book, Jack tells us about his first interractions with the outside world: family, space, speech with people that are not his mother, etc. Ma's decision not to tell Jack that the outside world is real raises thought-provoking questions about our perceptions of reality.
Author's website: Emma Donoghue
Kindle edition $11.99
On what do you base your ideas about what is real and what is not?
*Note: This author will be featured in the Hong Kong International Literary Festival from March 8-18.