ROOM

By Emma Donoghue

How would you manage if you heard that a real world you’ve only seen on TV exists just outside your window? Can you imagine that the life you’re used to is not all there is, that there is a whole other world outside?

ROOM is the story of a little boy called Jack. When he turns five, he starts to ask questions about the things he sees on TV, and his mother reveals to him that there is a world beyond the walls. She never told him about this before, she didn’t want him to feel sad because he couldn’t do anything in the real world. His mother was kidnapped when she was 19, and a man they call Old Nick imprisoned them in a specially built shed in his backyard. Jack was born in the shed, in Room, because Old Nick raped his mother. She has had enough of being in the shed, for seven years, so when Jack turns five, they plan an escape. They succeed, and their new life begins.  

The story is told from Jack’s perspective which I think is very endearing and interesting. He knows what everything is called in Room and he gives it the name of what it’s called, written with a capital letter, because he doesn’t know that there are more kinds of beds (for example) than the one in Room. So the bed is Bed, the table is Table and the wall is Wall. It’s also funny how Jack takes most things literally. He thinks what he sees on TV is not real, only Room is real. He actually doesn’t understand that being captivated in Room is bad, from his view it was not bad.

 “In Room I was safe and Outside is scary”.  

When they are free, everything is very imposing and they get into a rollercoaster of events. First nobody knew about them in Room and suddenly they become famous. They end up in a psychiatric clinic, where they get all the help they need. It’s fun to read how Jack explores the real world. Everything is scary, exciting and new.

I expected a good book, but also very sad. Sometimes it was sad, and I felt so sorry for Jack and especially for his mother. She had to bear with Old Nick and she didn’t really live for seven years. Her family thought she was dead, they arranged a funeral for her. When she tried to commit suicide in the clinic, is also very sad, because you see it from Jack’s view. He comes into their room and just thinks his mother is Gone, like sometimes in Room. Then he sees that she vomited on her pillow and calls Noreen, a therapist there. She sees it’s not good, calls somebody and suddenly the room is full of people, all around his mother, and Jack has no idea what’s going on… a tear rolled down my cheek when I read this. But she survives and at the end they return to Room one more time, to close this chapter of their lifes for once and all.

To conclude, I really like this book: it’s sad but also funny, endearing and moving and the use of language is great. It was absolutely not a punishment to read it!

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