"Room" by Emma Donoghue
Room is all five-year-old Jack knows. He was born there and it's where he eats, sleeps, learns and grows. Through his imagination, Room has become the real world and what he sees through the television set is just imaginary.
Room is also the place where Jack's Ma was imprisoned at the age of nineteen by a man named Old Nick. She has spent seven years in the eleven-by-eleven foot space. Jack's existence and her love for him has led her to create a life in that small space, so that he has no need for or knowledge of the world she was taken from.
But as Jack grows physically so does his curiosity about their world and the one in the television, along with Ma's desperate need to escape from Room. Will they make it out and if they do, what awaits them in the Outside?
Shortlisted for the Booker Prize, Room is deserving of all of the praise it has been getting. This is an easy read about a difficult subject. It has a hint of "ripped from the headlines" but looks at the issue from a unique perspective and is more of a commentary on our world than a sensational story.
It is written from the perspective of Jack, and Donoghue has masterfully written the voice of a five-year-old who only knows the four walls that surround him. Ma's fierce love for her son and determination will hit home with any reader. This is a book that will have you thinking "what would I have done?" You won't want to put this book down. Donoghue writes it with just the right amount of suspense and will keep you wanting to know how the story ends.
A lot of people are picking this as the front runner for the Booker Prize and many are shocked it wasn't longlisted for the Giller Prize. As I mentioned, it lives up to the praise it has been getting and I highly recommend this book.