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A BOOK TO READ: ROOM

Room is a novel written by Irish-Canadian author Emma Donoghue. It was published by Pan MacMillan in Canada and Little, Brown in USA on 6thof August 2010. The English novel has 336 pages.

The story is told from the perspective of a five-year-old boy, Jack who is being held captive in a small room along with his mother. Donoghue conceived the story after hearing about five-year-old Felix in the Fritzl case, and a 2008 court case in which a Pennsylvania woman held her children captive for eight years in a small room similar to the one in the novel.

The novel was long listed for the 2011 Orange Prize and won the 2011 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize regional prize (Caribbean and Canada); was shortlisted for the 2010 Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize and the 2010 Governor General’s Awards. The film adaptation, also titled Room, was released in October 2015, starring Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay.

CHARACTERS

The major characters in this novel are; Jack (main character), Ma (Jack’s mother), and Old Nick (Ma and Jack’s captor).

SUMMARY

The main character Jack is a five-year-old boy who lives with his Ma in Room. It is a secured single-room outbuilding containing a small kitchen, a basic bathroom, a wardrobe, a bed, and a TV set (Ma made Jack believe that the rest of the world exists here). Room is the only place Jack as ever known and he believes it is one of the things that are real including him and Ma. The only other person Jack has ever seen is ‘’Old-Nick’’, who visits Room at night while he sleeps hidden in a wardrobe. Old Nick brings them food and necessities.

Jack wasn’t aware that Old Nick kidnapped Ma when she was 19 years old and has kept her imprisoned for the past seven years. Old Nick regularly rapes Ma; Jack is the product of one such sexual assault.Ma eventually finds a way of getting out of Old Nick’s grip. She feigned Jack’s death ill who then escaped from Old Nick. Despite Jack’s inability to communicate with other people, he found a friendly stranger; he then informed police who then found Room.

Old Nick was found and faces numerous charges of abduction, rape, and child endangerment that will likely lead to 25 years to life in prison. Ma and Jack were taken to a mental hospital, where they receive medical evaluations. Ma broke down when the issue became public. She finally found her old self as she and Jack visited Room for the last time. He no longer feels any emotional attachment towards it and is able to say is goodbye.

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