The second of three books I bought in the middle of last semester (the first being One Day), Room by Emma Donaghue is the story of Jack and his Ma, who live in Room.

I bought this because of the blurb, which simply says:

Jack is five.
He lives in a single, locked room with his Ma.

And that was it!! I had to read it to find out about this poor wee boy, not caring or knowing what the plotline was. It turned out, however, that the story was as haunting as the blurb.

I don’t want to ruin it for you but I will say that I thought the way it was written from Jack’s perspective was very clever. It’s a fascinating exercise in understanding the mind of a child who accepts everything you tell them and cannot think beyond what you tell them. Then, to see the only world which they have ever known shattered and them have to rebuild their entire system of understanding is so interesting.
(I read a book written on a similar premise called Milkweed by Jerry Spinelli a number of years ago. It’s a child’s perspective on the Holocaust and another book I’d thoroughly recommend. )

I thought that it was well written and an engaging idea but it just lacked something. I guess I wanted more than Jack could give me. I wanted a grown-up perspective, to understand all the drama in the background. But I suppose that’s the point. This is Jack’s story and Jack is five years old so you see it as simply as he does.

I would definitely recommend it.


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