Date finished: Tuesday 28th January 2017
First time reading?: No, second.
From Goodreads: “It’s Jack’s birthday and he’s excited about turning five. Jack lives with his Ma in Room, which has a locked door and a skylight, and measures 11 feet by 11 feet. He loves watching TV but he knows that nothing he sees on screen is truly real. Until the day Ma admits that there’s a world outside.”
I’ve wanted to return to this book since the movie was released last year, and the movie was absolutely phenomenal. The first time I read this book was Christmas several years ago, and i devoured the book around my shift on Christmas day in almost one sitting. It is just as good a read the second time around.
Told from the unique point of view of the innocent five year old Jack, who has known nothing except the eleven foot by eleven foot Room his whole life, has his world shattered when his Ma tells him the truth as to why they live in Room after an incident where their captor shuts of supplies and power to them for three days.
The innocence of Jack creates an interesting view on the world in this novel. There’s actually a quote on the front of my hardback copy that states upon finishing “the world looks the same but you are somehow different” and this sums up how the novel feels beautifully. While you’re reading the book it’s all you want to talk about with other people. As I mentioned in a previous review, I’ve been told I seem to enjoy dark gritty novels, and this fits that bill perfectly.
Jack’s introduction into Outside is captured perfectly; not understanding how things would work, and what was OK and what was not. It’s truly terrifying to think stuff like this actually happens in reality; in fact this novel is loosely based on the Austrian case where the father kept his daughter in the basement and even fathered some of her children.
The return to Room at the end of the novel packs a pretty emotional punch at the end. I know that sentence ins kind of spoiler-y but it’s worth commenting on. It’s a mark of how much the characters grow and progress throughout the course of the book, and how far they come from being trapped in Room to establishing a life for themselves Outside.
My rating 9/10