Imagine living in an 11×11 foot room for all of your life with nothing but a soundproof sky-light and an old television as windows to the outside world. Imagine that your only friends are the furniture and occasional insects that inhabit this room.
This is the setting for 5-year-old narrator Jack and his Ma in Emma Donoghue’s
Man Booker Prize winning novel, Room.
The reader is invited into Jack’s world on his fifth birthday, and one gets a glimpse
of the horror of their situation and the undeniable bond of love between a mother
and her child. Jack is an extremely intelligent and curious child and his mother has
realized now that Jack has turned five and has even more questions than ever that it is time for her to tell him the truth about her kidnapping and his subsequent birth at the hands of their captor, “Old Nick.”
To complicate matters further, Ma has told Jack for his whole life, in an effort to make his situation more bearable, that the people, things and places he has seen on television and read in his collection of five books are all make believe. Now Jack has to struggle with the reality of his existence in a world much larger than the confines of Room.
Room is a beautiful and poignant look at the human will to survive and the deep bond between a mother and child and the lengths that they will go to for each other.