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.
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.
When I saw the film (which I haven’t seen) was based on a book, I went searching and found it cheap on Amazon Kindle, I bought it. And then I couldn’t put it down, I remember reading it when I was waiting for my food shop to be delivered and then being annoyed when my shop actually turned up and forced me to stop reading.
I thought it was a really good choice to have the whole book from Jack’s POV. It meant we managed to get a good sense of the situation and the full story from the bits and pieces he revealed without dwelling on how horrible it must have been to be held captive because to Jack, that was the way things had always been. And then Jack wanting to go back into the room where things were familiar and made sense – he was upfront about the feeling while an adult would have been in confusion and denial because it would have felt wrong. But to a child like Jack, it just was.
This book was similar to Above in which someone who has been held hostage for a long period of time then has to deal with the world outside after they escape but unlike Above, the ending didn’t annoy the crap out of me. It was a good ending with going back to the room and saying goodbye to what his life once was. I would have liked an epilogue to see if Jack remembered and whether they were okay later on but I did like the ending.
A big thing about this book was people not able to handle the baby talk of the child POV but I didn’t find it too grating. I did think there were times where child!Jack behaved a little too mature for his age but I could handle it.
Four stars, would definitely recommend but I probably won’t read it again.