A blog by the staff of the Thomas Ford Memorial Library
Five-year-old Jack narrates this story. He and his Ma live in a small room, where Ma has been confined since her abduction seven years ago at age 19, and where Jack has spent his entire life. To protect him from the truth, Ma has raised Jack with the belief that everything he sees on television is fiction; thus this room is his entire world. Items in the room have their own names and stories: Rug, Bed, Wardrobe, Snake (made from eggshells) and Room itself. Ma has given Jack structured days with physical education, crafts, laundry and other activities, teaching him the rudiments of hygiene, religion, and math, as much as she can with her limited resources. In Jack’s eyes his life is almost perfect, except for the nightly visits from Ma’s abductor, Old Nick, from whom Jack is mostly hidden.
But Ma, of course, knows there is a world outside Room, and when Jack inadvertently angers Old Nick, she decides they must find a way to break free. After they execute a daring plot for rescue, the rest of the book is about how Jack and his mother adjust to being in the world, each with their own challenges and reactions.
I enjoyed listening to the audio version of this book; it easily held my attention. The author has credibly portrayed the interactions between a patient mother and an inquisitive 5-year-old. I think what I will remember most about this book is Ma’s creativity and skill in building a fairly normal world for her son in this tiny, limited space. ~ Review by Nancy