actual review date: January 3, 2011
Jack is a normal 5 year old. If not slightly more precocious. He plays, reads books and watches TV. However, the world as he knows it is just a tiny room with a bathroom and sink. Everything is a proper noun, since that is the only one of these things that he has ever seen. Jack lives in this room because his mother had been abducted by a very bad man. He was actually born in the very same room. It is all he knows. You would think that a book narrated by a 5 year old would be unbelievably precocious or on the opposite side of the scale, too juvenile, but the author gets just the right tone for the narrator.
Jack is naive but also wise in his ways. His Ma is the only person he knows and she is a remarkable one at that. The first part of the book takes place inside Room, but the second part shifts and takes place Outside.
The book is interesting in that it shows not only what captivity might feel like but how difficult it might be to be Outside. The Mom is not the typical saintly (though she is an amazing woman) victim.
In short, yes, iut deserved all the hype. I really liked this book.