Room will leave you speechless. Listening to the audible version, pitch-perfectly performed by Michal Friedman, Ellen Archer, Robert Petkoff, and Suzanne Toren, is a chillingly addictive experience; even after you’ve turned off your device, you won’t be able to stop Jack from haunting you.
In spite of the book’s widespread media attention, its countless accolades and awards, I had few content details before I picked up the title for which I’m eternally grateful. In this case, less was absolutely more.
Here’s what I did know: a young boy and his mother are trapped in a small room, imprisoned by a violent man who snatched the mother off the streets when she was still a teenage student. The boy, born in captivity, knows only this room as his entire world, created for him by his inventive, fiercely protective mother who keeps him safe and happy at whatever cost.
Here’s what little else you can know: Jack turns 5 on the first page. Room is 11×11 square with a single high skylight. Ma has bad teeth. The unnumbered chapter titles are: Presents, Unlying, Dying, After, Living.
If you must have something visual to draw you in (although that cover couldn’t be more powerful), click here for the book’s goosebumps-inducing trailer.
To the credit of the superbly talented Emma Donoghue, Room miraculously proves to be funny, uplifting, affirming, even as it is wrenching, brutal, and every parent’s nightmare come true. Listening to Jack narrate what he sees, hears, thinks with such unguarded truth will make you wince, gasp, laugh, mourn, and ultimately believe. Enter Room … and see what happens …