Room is a novel that has been receiving a lot of praise and interest lately - not least because it has been short listed for the 2010 Man Booker Prize.
The premise of the book is definitely intriguing - a 5 year old boy, Jack, and his mother (Ma) are imprisoned in a small room that measures eleven feet by eleven feet - it is the only world and life that Jack has ever known and his language and ideas demonstrate this;
We have a pretty busy morning, First we undo Pirate Ship that we made last week and turn it into Tank. Balloon is the driver, she used to be as big as Ma's head and pink and fat, now she's small like my fist only red and wrinkly. We only blow up one when it's the first of a month, so we can't make Balloon a sister till it's April. Ma plays with Tank too but not as long. She gets sick of things fast, it's from being an adult.
Monday is laundry day, we get into Bath with socks, underwears, my gray pants that ketchup squirted on, the sheets and dish towels, and we squish all the dirt out. Ma hots Thermostat way up for the drying, she pulls Clothes Horse out from beside Door and stands him open and I tell him to be strong.
Donoghue has done an amazing job of creating and portraying Jack's voice and his world - I believed in the existence of this child and his narrow view of what the world is.
The book is unbelievably powerful and affecting - how could it not be when it is written so well? I was captured by it but at the same time annoyed by it! I believed in Jack's voice and his story but it was actually Ma that I wanted to hear more from - maybe because I am an adult with no children of my own it was the adult voice that I wanted to hear more of in the story?? The book certainly does focus on the experiences of Ma too - but is always through Jack's eyes, voice and language. This certainly doesn't take away from the brilliance of the book - I guess my reading focus just wanted the other side of the story more so I felt a little frustrated that this did not come through. Having said that though this is really my only (very personal and selfish!) critique of the book - it is an amazing story that is deserving of all the positive attention it has been receiving.