Friday, November 28, 2014

Room by Emma Donoghue ~ 2010

To five-year-old Jack, Room is the entire world.

Little, Brown and Company
Publication: September 13, 2010 
Pages: 321
ISBN: 9780316098335
Edition language: English
Dust Jacket Illustrator: Fearn de Vicq, partner at de Vicq Design

5 Stars

Emma Donoghue
The story starts off on Jack's 5th birthday, who lives with Ma and is looked "after" by Old Nick. Jack and Ma live in a tiny, 11-foot-square soundproofed cell in a converted shed in the kidnapper's yard that Jack calls Room and it is all Jack knows of the world.  Room does have the necessary amenities needed in life and the screen on the T.V. are imaginary pictures.  Jack has no idea that there is a real world beyond Room.

What was a great kick for me was how Jack used proper nouns on inanimate objects as he narrated this story.

Ma was abducted seven years prior by Old Nick at the age of 19 and had a baby before Jack arrived in this world.  The baby, a girl, had died from the umbilical cord which was wrapped around her neck during the birth.  Then came Jack.

About a week after Jack's birthday Ma finds out that Old Nick isn't working anymore and believes things will become a lot worse now and decides that she and Jack need to escape.  After Old Nick had broke her wrist before during an attempted escape and Jack startling Old Nick one night causing him to shut the power off for several days, Ma tells Jack that the images he sees on the T.V. are actually real, and naturally, Jack finds it hard to believe.

They devise a plan - she fakes Jack having a fever and diarrhea and that night she demands that Old Nick take Jack to a hospital.  Old Nick refuses because he is afraid that the boy will inform the authorities about Room. So, plan B - Ma and Jack rehearse an escape plan, Jack will die. Jack will be rolled up in Rug and when Old Nick gets there he will see that Ma has prepared him to be taken away. Then when the truck slows in traffic or stops at a traffic light, Jack will squeeze out from Rug and jump down from the truck and run for help. That night Jack has "died" and is rolled up in Rug and Old Nick will take him to some remote spot and dump him.

Things go according to plan and when Jack jumps off the truck just a few blocks from Room, Old Nick pursues him.  A passer-by sees what is going on and rescues Jack and calls the police. The police arrive and after having a bit of communication problem with Jack they do find Ma and she is rescued.  Old Nick is arrested and faces some serious time - like life!

Ma and Jack are taken to a mental hospital and get medical TLC.  Now you could imagine being kidnapped for seven years things change.  Ma finds out that her parents are now divorced and her older brother is married and has a child of his own.  The media gets wind of what is going on and this story gets national attention.  Everything is going like a hundred miles an hour for Ma and she has a mental breakdown and tries to commit suicide.  Jack goes to live with Grandma and her new partner in life and things are hard on Jack.  New things, new surroundings, new life for a five year old where everything he sees he had thought were make believe.

Ma and Jack do get back together and start living at this independent living facility where Jack has his own room and slowly starts to accept life as it is happening around him.  But being in Room all his life Jack has this attachment to it as one could understand.  He needs to go back and see it, if at anything, for one last time.  And he does.  And you gotta smile to yourself when you read that Room does not have the same thing for Jack as he thought it would. He can finally close Door on Room once and for all.
(and please DO NOT read it) what made the whole book, for me, was the very last word.


Emma Donoghue on Room

11 November 2014

Shooting is underway for the movie version of Room starring William H. Macy, Joan Allen, Jacob Tremblay and Brie Larson.

Here's where you can get your finger's on Room:

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