(image from Fitting Back In)
It was difficult at first to read because Jack is a little boy and personifies all the objects in Room. He calls the furniture Wardrobe, Bed, TV, et al. The description of Room was rather vivid and while laying in bed, I sometimes got scared and thought I could be locked in my room! Eek.
I found Ma to be extremely creative in her raising of Jack. She came up with so many activities. Before working at a preschool, all of those games were foreign to me. I couldn't remember them from my childhood yet she did a good job of providing her son with a great upbringing. As for me, I would not be able to keep the outside out. Escaping would constantly be on my mind. Though I don't know how I would end up in Room. I probably would have gone insane before this story even began.
Secondly, besides not being able to keep the outside out, I would have such trouble explaining the outside. Ma does as well as she begins to tell Jack more and more things especially what's real and what's not on TV. It struck me that we are amazing creatures to be able to distinguish between reality and pretend. No wonder our children consider things on TV to be real at a young age!
In the discussion, I read about her using birth control pills. Though in Jack's description, I thought they were just pain killers. I could understand how she had her first miscarriage because she probably didn't think of birth control pills at first. Though afterward, I'm confused as to why she didn't get them sooner and not have Jack.
The second half of the book was actually good, in my opinion. I was anticipating it because once they escaped, which we knew they would, I didn't want the story to just end. I wanted to know more: how would they adjust? I think there's enough development here for a second book on how Jack transforms in his teenage years and into adulthood. Though I don't prefer sequels, I'd be curious and wished this book had a "10 years later" part or something.
The suicide seemed to be out of place. She had been resilient in Room and I can see how tough it was outside. However, the author appeared to stick this in to make Jack stay with grandma and Steppa. In this way, Jack was able to prove that he could do without Ma at his side all the time.
I thought the book was a wonderful choice for the book club and made me think that I could have as much strength as well. It's one of those stories that tells us to appreciate what we have, especially nature.