This book was the newest to me of all the books I have read. It’s just Jack and Ma in Room and they take vitamins and water plant and do phys ed. Jack talked like this and the book made it hard to read but good.
We don’t know why Jack an Ma are in Room and in the beginning it doesn’t even matter. Slowly we learn of the world as Jack sees it, but being Outside (and grownup) we intepret and understand the things Jack says in a way that Jack can’t. This way we come to learn what really happened and why they are there.
I am a bit late to the party in reading this book, but I honestly couldn’t put it down once I got used to Jack’s narrative. This book opens up for multiple discussions; what does it mean to be free and how do we create happiness for ourselves?
I’ve read a lot of places that the theme of motherly love is the most interesting. We meet Jack on the day that he is five and Ma is still breastfeeding him. This made me feel wildly uncomfortable because there is a clash between the norms we created in society and the norms they create in their own world. In Outside we learn comfort and intimacy in many ways – and often ween children from the breast for practical as well as social reasons, but not in Room; it’s just Jack and Ma and they only have eachother and so they each find comfort in the breastfeeding.
The book is best when it presents those dichotomies between what is acceptable outside and what happiness can be created from little means. Especially because it does not present us with a right method of ordering our worlds. Mainly it just says that change is inevitable and sometimes you can enjoy bad things and then later not enjoy them anymore.