I’m working on believing.
I bought Room a few years back at a thrift store that I would frequent in Chicago where you could buy book for fifty cents. That was the last I had seen of Room until we moved to Michigan and my coworker, the ever amazing Jobeth, told me I had to read it! She has been the person I go to for book recommendations a lot recently. She hasn’t let me down and she didn’t with Room either.
The story starts with Jack, who is turning five, and his Ma who is desperately trying to give him a birthday that he deserves. You come to realize very quickly that the home that Ma and Jack occupy is a small shed in the back of a house. Padlocked from the outside, Ma sees no end to the monotony of the life that she has created for her and her son. They create their own games, they create their own exercises, they create their own world. Inside room everything is as Ma wants it to be for Jack and that is all he has ever known.
So, when Ma finally tells him that there is more to life than what he sees around him, his world changes and it’s hard for him to grasp the fact that the people on TV are actual people and not on a different planet. One where room doesn’t exist. Ma devises a plan and soon they are out in the world and Jack has to come to terms with the fact that everything he has ever known isn’t true.
Told from the point of view of a five-year old you would think that you would grow tired of Jack’s way of seeing or his way of speaking, but you don’t. I found it endearing to see the world through the eyes of a child again; and also heartbreaking to see the world from a child who hasn’t seen the world before. Heartbreaking and yet a story of sheer bravery, Room will remind us all what it’s like to be a child and remind us that there is such evil in the world. Evil that would keep a young girl away from her family and a young boy away from this big, bad, beautiful world that we all love and hate.