5 Stars - Highly Recommended / The Next Best Book
Every once and awhile you come across a book that takes your breath away. A book that you fall in love with from the very first sentence of the very first page. A book that you never want to put down because you want to know what happens next, but that you're afraid to pick back up because you don't ever want it to end. A book that you know is going to haunt you long after you have closed it's cover and placed it back on the shelf.
Room is that book. The story is narrated by Jack, a 5 year old boy who was born into an 11 x 11 room that he is unable to leave. Room is the only world he knows. It is the only life he knows. As far as Jack knows, Room is the only thing that is real.
His mother, to whom Room is a prison, is determined to shelter Jack from Old Nick - the man who has held her captive for 7 years - and the life outside of Room that he cannot experience.
As Jack becomes more inquisitive, his mother finds it increasingly more difficult to hide the outside world from her son. And so she hatches a plan that could set them free, or make their lives within Room that much more difficult.
An amazing story of survival and love captured through the eyes of an innocent child, Room forces you to face the horrible, horrifying reality of a desperate mother struggling to give her child a normal life in the most abysmal situation.
I look out my window as I write this, at the shed in my backyard. I imagine this shed as an unescapable prison in which I must raise my children - a bed, a toilet, a stove, a wardrobe, and a table all squished inside, in which the only light I see sneaks in through the skylight, in which I am forced to prioritize my needs (food, clothing, soap) into "sunday treats" - a handful of things that I request of my captor to be delivered weekly so my children and I can continue living. I imagine the only toys my children have to play with are the things I can make out of left over garbage - eggs that I string together to create a snake, forts and castles that we make out of used toilet paper rolls. I imagine trying not to break down and give up. I imagine trying to pretend that the life we are living is normal, trying to build an entire world for my kids out of that room.
It breaks my heart just thinking about it.
Room is reminiscent of other novels I have read and loved that are narrated by little boys (The Book of Lost Things, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, The Dead Father's Club), and yet manages to blow them all away! His endearing voice, and unique terminology will capture your heart and invade your dreams. His curiosity and persistence will infect you.
Jack has a story to share. And it's a story I don't want you to miss.
Watch the trailer - and then run out to the stores to grab yourself a copy of Room when it hits the shelves on September 13th!