“I’ve been in the world three weeks and a half, I still don’t know what’s going to hurt.”
These are not the words you would expect a 5 year old boy who has been in the world for five years, to say. It’s too deep. It’s unsettling. It’s unimagnable. Yet, Jack , the 5 year old narrator of Room by Emma Donoghue says it. And in these words is wrapped the essence of the story.
Born to his mother in captivity, Jack has spent his entire life in Room. Needless to say, every item in the room holds a certain level of importance and personality according to Jack. Almost everything in Room has been a part of his life since the day he was born. So you can imagine how much more important his mother is, and how dependent he would be on his mother – the only human being with whom he has had any interaction, mentally, physically and emotionally, for the longest time.
While Room explores the complex emotions that drive behaviours, dependencies and anxieties born in the relationship between Ma and Jack, it’s also a story of love and survival. It explores Jack’s all-encompassing love for his mother, and his little world that gets stifling and suffocating as each page goes by, but means the world to Jack. The book shows you what it is like to see this world through the eyes of a young child.
But most impacting is all that happens when Room opens the Door to all the events that it unravels – the hurt, the joy, the pain, the hope, and the mystery of the new world Outside.
A little bit about how I came across the book:
Unlike most other books that I pick up based on what I find when browsing the book shelves (online or instore), or what friends suggest, I discovered Room by Emma Donoghue by chance. I was looking at some of the trailers of movies releasing this year, and saw the one for Room. When at the end the narrator said that the movie is an adaptation of a book by the same name, I did a quick search and found the book. I was quite adamant that I would read the book before I watch the movie. And as I did not want to procrastinate and eventually forget about the book, I decided to get around to reading it. And yes, I’m totally I glad I did.