When you first read a summary of this book, it immediately makes you think of the real-life story of Jaycee Dugard, the young girl who was abducted at age 11 and spent nearly 2 decades locked in a world separated from the world. However, the fictional Room provides a unique perspective; it's told by 5-year-old Jack. Jack and his Ma are held captive in one single room - the room where Jack was born - by Old Nick. Ma devises a plan to escape and Jack becomes a central figure in carrying that plan out. All Ma can thing about his providing something more for Jack, finding him freedom.
"Although I have often been inspired by real events from previous centuries, this is the first time I've ever felt compelled to tackle a subject from today's headlines," wrote Emma Donoghue, author of Room. "I was taken over by the idea of a child born in captivity, and raised in secret isolation in the middle of a contemporary city, with everything he needs except one of the biggest things - freedom. It struck me as one of those weird situations that can illuminate the human condition: Jack and Ma's story might turn out to be, in some sense, everybody's story."
For an interesting perspective, you can go online to see a drawing of the room where Jack and Ma lived. And share your thoughts on the book.
- Why do you think the entire book is told in Jack's voice? Do you think it is effective?
- If you were Ma, what would you miss most about the outside world?
- What were you most affected by in the novel?