Monday, February 3, 2014


Five year old Jack has never left the 11x11 room he was born in. He thinks that the room is the whole world. During the day he learns, plays, and eats with his mother. At night his mother puts him in the wardrobe to sleep in case Old Nick visits them. Jack loves the room, but he starts to realize how unhappy his mother is in her prison. As his curiosity about things outside grows, so does his mother's desperation to escape. She hatches a plan, and unfortunately, it depends on Jack who is not certain he wants to leave.

This book is narrated from Jack's perspective. Although interesting to see what this experience would be like from a child's perspective, I did not care for how it worked in this book at all. Jack is a limited narrator. He has limited understanding about what is happening, and is unwilling to try to understand. His language abilities are constrained by his lack of exposure to proper speech, but this seems strange given his supposed advanced reading and math ability. It becomes very annoying to read all of his grammar issues. This highlights one of the plot conflicts in the story, that some of his thoughts were clearly too advanced for this particular child. It is not worth the constant aggravation of the narrator to deal with a thin plot that lacks plausibility.

It is a quick read, mainly because I wanted to get it over with. I was increasingly frustrated with the book, and knew I needed to finish it quickly, or I never would. Because of the lack of plausibility in the plot, and the irritating narration, I recommend finding a different book if you are interested in understanding what it is like for a person to survive these horrendous circumstances.

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