I can’t stop thinking about this book. The world Emma Donoghue created for the eleven-by-eleven foot space Jack and “Ma” inhabit is so haunting and real that I continue to feel frightened and creeped out. Yet I have positive feelings, too: admiration for Ma and protectiveness for Jack, who’s the cutest darn five year-old you’ve ever met. I want to take Jack home with me and cuddle. Unfortunately, taking him to a home in the outside world means he won’t know how to walk down stairs. He won’t like the unfamiliar sensation of shoes on his feet. All Jack knows is the comfort of Room.
It was brilliant to write the book from little Jack’s perspective. His fresh, honest take on the world is so precious. I love how he names the parts of his world: Meltedy Spoon, Track, Sundaytreat, Outer Space, Wardrobe, Old Nick.
Or like the time he knocks a kid down trying to hug him, coming on too strong (p. 288).
“Remember,” Grandma says on the way to the white car, “we don’t hug strangers. Even nice ones.”
“We just don’t, we save our hugs for people we love.”
“I love that boy Walker.”
“Jack, you never saw him before in your life!”
When Jack kissed Ma’s breasts goodbye I couldn’t stop laughing.
“I kiss the right and say, ‘Bye-bye.’ I kiss the left twice because it was always creamier.” (p. 303). Ha ha!
Ma comes up with incredibly creative games and activities, egged on by Jack’s stunning imagination.
This story had me on the verge of tears and left me with a very hopeful feeling, the perfect combination. I care deeply about Jack and Ma, wanting so much for their future. Though they will undoubtedly be affected by Room, I desperately want them to get revenge by living the good life. With a mother like Ma, I think Jack has an excellent start.