Jack, our 5-year-old protagonist, has only known Room. Chair, Table and Rug are his friends, his Ma his only companion. Jack has never left Room, and the only outside connection he has with the world is ‘Old Nick’ who visits them at night, entering through the electronic code locked door, bringing food and other items, as well as sleeping with Ma, when Jack is safely tucked out of sight in the bottom of the wardrobe to sleep.
This book was really very interesting to read, despite it not being a novel I normally go for. You instantly know from the first few pages that it was heavily inspired by the Fritzl case and the author has gone to great lengths to put herself in a child’s shoes. An interesting viewpoint, as an obvious choice would have been a character based on Elisabeth Fritzl, and not her son.
There is a lot that Jack doesn’t understand as a child, but as adults reading through his eyes, we gather a lot more information than he does, and you read wanting Jack to share more so you can push the story forward.
This is not a book I would want to read more than once. I think it is a one-hit-wonder for me. Saying that, I enjoyed how the author has taken such a strong subject matter and used a child to tell the story. The innocence of Jack, the lies he knows as truth, and how he sees the world gives this story depth.
A good break for me from my usual genres, but I devoured this book in a few hours.
Have you read Room? What did you think?