One of my favorite things about reading is getting so captivated by a story and its characters that you enter into your own miniature world. Emma Donoghue creates this scenario in every page of her book, Room. Reading this book put me into my own ‘room’ where I was not disturbed by anything outside of its walls because I was so entranced by the story.
Jack and Ma did not have a similar pleasurable experience in Room, though. At the age of 19, Ma was kidnapped by a man known as “Old Nick” on her walk home from class. For the past 7 years, she has lived in captivity and is continually raped by her captor. Two years into her unfortunate stay in Room, Jack is born. Suddenly, her predicament changes as everything now becomes about keeping Jack safe and eventually breaking free. With Jack being born in this environment, Ma creates stories and tells Jack that Room is truly all there is, and Outside is simply outer space and the images on the TV are not real. However, little by little, more of the truth of their situation is revealed to Jack, and eventually, a plan for escape hatches.
The escape plan happened much earlier in the novel than I was anticipating and left me wondering what the second half of the book would consist of, but I was pleasantly surprised. Donoghue continued to utilize the charming youthfulness and innocence of Jack to captivate her readers and allow the unconditional love between mother and son to carry the story through its ups and downs. She also describes the serious emotional and psychological consequences of their plight on both Ma and Jack in a way that will tug at your heartstrings.
Room is a book that I think every avid reader should look into as it has parts that are consistent with a multitude of genres that I think most people would enjoy. Prepare to be enthralled by this story while experiencing both joy and heartbreak as you follow along on the journey of Ma and Jack to freedom.