When I first heard about it on book blogs before it was even published, I was already hooked and determined to read it. I mentioned it on the blog at least once. Then the book came out and I looked at it at bookstores, thought about buying it often, then reminded myself I had quite a lot of books I already own that still need to be read. I talked about my excitement over this book so much that my friend Jen bought it, read it, liked it, and lent it to me. And I still didn’t read it.
But that all changed last week. And it lived up to the hype. Room is the story of five-year-old Jack, whose mom was kidnapped in college and held captive in a converted garden shed for years. She gave birth to Jack while in captivity and the 11X11 room they live in is all Jack has known of the world. He watches TV, but thinks that everything on the screen is make-believe and everything outside Room is Outer Space. Ma does everything in her power to create a “normal” life for Jack, giving him as much education as she can and keeping him entertained with made-up games, but when the real world comes crashing in, it’s fascinating to see just how unprepared Jack and Ma are to deal with it.
Room is told entirely from Jack’s perspective, so it does take some time to get used to a five-year-old’s diction, albeit a very bright five-year-old. I loved that through Jack’s voice everyday things that we take for granted seem so much bigger, brighter and more interesting. And despite the horrific circumstances presented, Room is most notable for the powerful bond between mother and child it portrays.
No wonder Room has earned a spot on many a “best books of 2010” list so far.