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ROOM (Book Review) Tannehill Trader

ROOM (Book Review) Tannehill Trader

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Published by George Scherer

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Published by: George Scherer on Dec 30, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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05/12/2014

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ROOMby Emma DonoghueLittle Brown and Company, NewYork, NY
Having a grandson who had just turned 5, I was quite interested in the new book by Emma Donoghuewhose narrator is a boy of five. The book for good reason is called Room and the boys name is Jackand as the story begins, he is celebrating his fifth birthday.Today Im five, the book begins. I was four last night going to sleep in Wardrobe, but when Iwake up in Bed in the dark Im changed to five, abracadabra.In many ways Jack is a typical five year old, but you dont have to read very many pages before yourealize that his life is not typical to anyone but himself. You first notice that when he speaks of goingto sleep in Wardrobe, but waking up in Bed in the dark, gives you the idea that Jacks world isanything but normal. In fact, Jacks world is Room, a one room shed in the backyard of a suburbanhome where he and his Mother live, and where he has lived for his entire life.I dont think Im revealing too much if I tell you that his mother is a kidnap victim, who has been heldcaptive by her kidnapper since she was abducted at 19, over seven years earlier. Jack is the biologicalchild of the abductor, who Jack calls Old Nick, because he brings them things and he only comes in atnight. On nights the mother thinks he may be coming, she makes Jack go to sleep in the Wardrobewhere she can keep Old Nick from seeing him or being around him, although the man knows of hisexistence. Besides the things they need to survive and special things she requests for Jack, it is all sheasks of him and in return she submits to his sexual advances. It is part of her elaborate attempts to giveJack a normal life under abnormal circumstances.Jack is an extremely smart child, who is reading not only childrens books, but Alice in Wonderland, yethe believes that almost everything on the TV, which they only watch for short periods each day, isimaginary. His mother tells him that watching too much TV will make his brain go mushy, so he spendsmost of his time reading, or playing games that require a great imagination. All of this is also part of hismothers attempt to make him unaware of the horror of their existence, and it is amazing to us asreaders how well she succeeds at that. Jack is a normal five year old who argues about things, chews hisfinger, and throws temper tantrums, but who accepts the world he knows to be all that there is, which isperfectly normal for a five year old. At some point, all this has to end and that is where the book reallybecomes interesting.This is no easy read, although it
is
the kind of book you dont want to put down. I say its not easy,becauseMS Donoghue (who Ive never read, although this is her 10
th
book) has created very real

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