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Today I’m five. I was four last night going to sleep in Wardrobe, but when I wake up in Bed in the dark I’m changed to five, abracadabra. Before that I was three, then two, then one, then zero. “Was I minus numbers?”
“Hmm?” Ma does a big stretch.
“Up in Heaven. Was I minus one, minus two, minus three — ?”
“Nah, the numbers didn’t start till you zoomed down.”
“Through Skylight. You were all sad till I happened in your tummy.”
“You said it.” Ma leans out of Bed to switch on Lamp, he makes everything light up whoosh.
I shut my eyes just in time, then open one a crack, then both.
“I cried till I didn’t have any tears left,” she tells me. “I just lay here counting the seconds.”
“How many seconds?” I ask her.
“Millions and millions of them.”
“No, but how many exactly?”
“I lost count,” says Ma.
“Then you wished and wished on your egg till you got fat.”
She grins. “I could feel you kicking.”
“Me, of course.”
I always laugh at that bit.
“From the inside, boom boom. ” Ma lifts her sleep T-shirt and makes her tummy jump. “I thought, Jack’s on his way . First thing in the morning, you slid out onto the rug with your eyes wide open.”
I look down at Rug with her red and brown and black all zigging around each other. There’s the stain I spilled by mistake getting born. “You cutted the cord and I was free,” I tell Ma. “Then I turned into a boy.”
“Actually, you were a boy already.” She gets out of Bed and goes to Thermostat to hot the air.
I don’t think he came last night after nine, the air’s always different if he came. I don’t ask because she doesn’t like saying about him.
“Tell me, Mr. Five, would you like your present now or after breakfast?”
“What is it, what is it?”
“I know you’re excited,” she says, “but remember not to nibble your finger, germs could sneak in the hole.”
“To sick me like when I was three with throw-up and diarrhea?”
“Even worse than that,” says Ma, “germs could make you die.”
“And go back to Heaven early?”
“You’re still biting it.” She pulls my hand away.
“Sorry.” I sit on the bad hand. “Call me Mr. Five again.”
“So, Mr. Five,” she says, “now or later?”
I jump onto Rocker to look at Watch, he says 07:14. I can skateboard on Rocker without holding on to her, then I whee back onto Duvet and I’m snowboarding instead. “When are presents meant to open?”
“Either way would be fun. Will I choose for you?” asks Ma.
“Now I’m fi ve, I have to choose.” My finger’s in my mouth again, I put it in my armpit and lock shut. “I choose — now.”
She pulls a something out from under her pillow, I think it was hiding all night invisibly. It’s a tube of ruled paper, with the purple ribbon all around from the thousand chocolates we got the time Christmas happened. “Open it up,” she tells me. “Gently.”
I figure out to do off the knot, I make the paper flat, it’s a drawing, just pencil, no colors. I don’t know what it’s about, then I turn it. “Me!” Like in Mirror but more, my head and arm and shoulder in my sleep T-shirt. “Why are the eyes of the me shut?”
“You were asleep,” says Ma.
Jack is such a sweet and well-behaved little boy. Every day, he wakes up, brushes his teeth, then reads and plays. He doesn’t have any friends, though—nor has he ever seen the sunlight. How could he when he’s spent his five years on Earth living in a backyard shed that has no windows…and no way out?
In Room, master storyteller Emma Donoghue invokes a nightmarish existence. Jack and Jack’s Ma live together in the same dank little room. Two years before Jack was born, Jack’s Ma was abducted by the man her son knows only as Old Nick. Ever since that day, all she’s known is fear. Through determination, ingenuity and fierce motherly love, Ma has created a life for Jack… but she knows it’s not enough, for her or for him.
Desperate to give her child the kind of existence he deserves, Ma devises a bold escape plan, one that relies on her young son’s bravery and a lot of luck. What she doesn’t realize is how unprepared she is for the plan to actually work. Told entirely in the language of pragmatic five-year-old Jack, Room is a celebration of resilience and the limitless bond between parent and child, a brilliantly realized novel about what it means to journey from one world to another.
Softcover Book : 336 pages
Publisher: Hachette Book Group Usa ( September 13, 2010 )
Item #: 13-377321
Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.25 x 0.76inches
Product Weight: 9.0 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
That is the word to describe this book. I don't usually read this type of book, but it sounded so good I knew I had to buy it, and I wasn't disappointed. This book is a fantastic look at what happens when you have no contact with the outside world. And the really scary part is that it has probably happened at some time, and probably will happen again. Tell everyone you know to read this one.
I read this book within the first 3 days of receiving it. I am amazed at the way the story is narrated by a young boy.
I have been telling everyone I know to read this book, it is very CAPTIVATING & INTERESTING. Some how the little boy reminds me of my 4yr old boy.
Reviewer: Taisa H
One of the best storys I have read in a long time!! I started in the early evening and had to STAY up until 1:00 a.m. jus to finish it!! A MUST READ!!!
Loved this book. Kept thinking it might be real, there's enough sicko's out there to do it. The whole understanding of Jack's view of reality and his difficulty with the difference between his reality and the true outside world make for a very interesting read!
One of the most captivating books I have read in many months. Told from a unique point of view, a five year old who has never experienced the world. This book made me stop and think about what it was like to be a five year old, something that we all should remember sometimes. Amazing, simply amazing!
Reviewer: Carolyn H