|9780316098328 — Paperback|
|9780316223232 — Paperback|
|9780316120579 — Paperback|
|9781448759729 — Glued Binding|
|9782253167303 — Paperback|
|9780606265058 — Glued Binding|
This is an extremely well written book.
Because of the movie, and the buzz around it, popularity for this book may be on the rebound.
Jack has only known Room.
Jack is turning five. He lives with his mother in Room. Room has no windows, just a skylight. Room’s door only opens when the code is put in. Jack loves Room.
Jack loves Room. Jack and Mom have a routine for every day. Every night “Old Nick” comes and Jack hides in the closet and counts the squeeks.
One day Mom decides that they need to leave after Jack asks about Outside and doesn’t understand. They come up with a plan. Jack will pretend to be sick and “Old Nick” will take him to the hospital. This plan fails, so plan B is to pretend that Jack died. Mom rolls Jack up in a rug and tells him exactly what to do. “Old Nick” takes Jack and puts him in the back of his truck. Jack worms out of the rug and jumps from the truck at a stop. “Old Nick” sees him and chases him. Jack runs to a man with a dog and a baby, who eventually calls the cops.
Mom is rescued and they go to the police station.
After the police, they are transfered to a mental health institution. Jack wonders when they can go back to Room. There’s too much space in Outside.
Jack meets his grandmother, step-pa, and his uncle. When Jack goes out with his uncle he steals a book, but doesn’t understand what he’s done. When he comes back Mom isn’t breathing. He goes to stay with his grandmother and step-pa while she recovers.
When Mom is finally better, they move into a assisted living aparment.
In the end they revisit Room and Jack realizes how small his world was.
This was a hard book to listen to. Its not a happy book in the least and it was disturbing at times. It was so good, but I don’t want to say I enjoyed it (though I guess I did, its hard to say you enjoyed something twisted). It really provoked some dark and sad emotions in me. Its a dark subject matter, but telling it from the child’s perspective helped soften the blow a little bit. It would have been more disturbing from the mother’s perspective. Jack just doesn’t understand what he’s missing and his mother is struggling so hard just to live. It was a really real portrait.
The characters were very real. You could feel the frustration of Jack, and his mother, and later his extended family. They were all trying so hard to make it all work. The best character was the Step-pa, because he was the only one who seemed to understand what Jack was going through in the Outside.
I think people who like Literary fiction would like this one. Its dark and twisted and shows a side of life that people wouldn’t think about. Literary seems to be all about think pieces and dark subject matter after all.
Literary fiction, Psychological suspense
His Illegal Self by Peter Carey
Pretty Is by Maggie Mitchell
The significance is that the story is told from the POV of a child born into captivity, having known nothing else. Its a unique perspective, especially since he struggles with the views of people who knew/know the Outside.
Book Discussion Questions and Ideas
Discuss which treatment of Jack was better: Ma, Grandma or Step-pa.
How realistic do you think the story was?
What would you have done in Ma’s situation?
ALA Notable Books – Fiction: 2011
Alex Award: 2011
CBA Libris Awards (Canadian Booksellers Association): Fiction Book of the Year
Commonwealth Writers’ Prize: Best Book: Regional Award: Caribbean & Canada
Forest of Reading Awards: Evergreen Award
Goodreads Choice Awards: 2010
Indies’ Choice Book Awards: Adult Fiction
Kentucky Bluegrass Award: Grades 9-12
Library Journal Top Ten
New York Times Notable Books – Fiction and Poetry: 2010
Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize
Why I Chose It
This one had a lot of buzz because the movie came out last year. I had tried Emma Donoghue before and hadn’t gotten into it, but this one was supposed to be really good. I picked it because everyone was talking about it.