Room by Emma Donoghue
Room is the only world five-year-old Jack has ever known. He lives in the 11 x 11 foot room with his Ma and has never left it. When Jack and Ma watch TV for an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening, Ma tells him the things he sees on it aren’t real, they’re just in TV world. When Jack goes to bed at night, he sleeps in the wardrobe so he won’t be visible when Old Nick comes by at 9 o’clock to visit his Ma. Although the story is told entirely from Jack’s perspective, the readers realize early on that Jack and Ma are captives and that Ma was kidnapped by Old Nick seven years earlier. Somehow she has created a daily life for them that feels normal to Jack: eating their three meals, exercising, reading, cleaning, TV time.
But now that he’s five, Ma starts telling Jack about her life before the room, and explaining that most of the things they see on TV really do exist in the Outside. At first Jack has difficulty imagining life outside the four wall which are all he’s ever known, but eventually Ma devises a risky escape plan that includes Jack as her hero and rescuer.
I really enjoyed this book and it haunted me for days after I read it. I recommend to all readers who love a mystery and especially those who love realistic, gritty stories.