“Room is told through the voice of a precoious five year old, whose entire existence has taken place in an 11x11 shed in the backyard of his ma's abductor. Born in the room two years after her abduction, Jack's has a distorted sense of reality, as his only frame of reference to the outside world comes from the provided television.
There is no way to talk about the book without spoilers. So, stop reading here if you wish to avoid them.
I commend Donoghue for undertaking such a ambitious endeavor. It is very difficult to capture the voice of a such a young child through an entire novel. I thought she did an amazing job. It was fascinating to see the world open up to Jack and to walk in his shoes as he tries to integrate himself into his surroundings. I avoided reading this for a long time because I assumed, due to the plot, it would be full of disturbing scenes. Because of the five year old, whose mohter makes it a point to protect him from those realities, point of view the reader is shielded from this horror.
I also thought one of the main theme's dealt with contrasts. There were contrasts in how Ma and Jack viewed their captivity, in how people reacted to Jack's existence (I was completely taken by the scene where ma is reunited with her dad), and in how ma and Jack reacted to freedom.
Finally, I was impressed with Donoghue's attention to detail. It is amazing what we take for granted as normal development. Donogue illustrates the development delays that would occur if someone were actually placed in these circumstances.
There were holes in the plot and some inconsistencies in Jack's thoughts and syntax, but I didn't take issue with them. It is understandable. I highly recommend this book.