It has taken a bit of mulling over this book. It is so cleverly done that it seems simplistic, but it really isn’t. Not in the least. This book is told through the eyes of a five year old boy who has been cooped up in a room (the Room of the title) for all his short life. His mother was kidnapped at the age of 19 and has not been out of the room since then, her kidnapper visits at night to take what he feels is rightfully his and he hasn’t seen the child since he was a small baby. An impressive feat on behalf of the mother who has set up a bed in a wardrobe for the child and has kept the child and the father completely apart despite the confines of the tiny space they live in.
Jack (the child) is comfortable in his world, understands his world and his Ma has nurtured, loved and taken care to teach him all she knows without him even realising that the world outside is not just on the television he is allowed to watch from time to time. Jack’s view of the outside world is one of the most fascinating things about the book, but there are plenty of other wonderful and insightful things that this author has done. The naming of things, the concept of ‘The Sunday Treat’, the subtle hints along the way that Ma is realising what the future trapped in this tiny space will mean.
This book is one of those books which people find it hard to discuss with those who haven’t read it. You don’t want to give too much away. You want to encourage everyone you know to read it. You need others who have read it to chat with and discuss lots of the issues the book raises. It is a tricky thing, I don’t want anybody who hasn’t read the book to have an inkling of what the two characters in the book will have happen to them. So really, if you haven’t read it then get hold of a copy and devour it in a day or so like I did, then spend a week with it haunting you. Below is the publishers book trailer.