Judging books by their covers #1: “Room”

(image via unrealityshout.com)


The object of this new series, which I am starting in conjunction with my wonderful friend, Elle, who blogs at Inkproductions.org (well-written, entertaining and thoughtful articles on all things writing and blogging-oriented) is to grab a long-neglected unread book off our shelves, speculate on what we think the book’s about based solely on its cover and then – ta dah! – reveal what the book is really trying to say.

Is it unfair to judge a book by its cover? We’re about to find out!

Set in a post apocalyptic landscape where only pastel-toned primary colours remain, and houses are small with drawn-on windows – evidently glass has become a scarce commodity, too precious to make windows with; who stole all the sand I wonder? – and apparently no doors so I am guessing axes are a popular , and now socially unacceptable, way for gaining entry to homes.

Most people, too poor to even afford a single children’s building block house, look out on a bleak landscape of white nothingness … well they would if they could see through the impenetrable wood of the fake windows that is.

It is barren existence with nothing much to do which eventually drives the hero of the story Jack (I peeked just a teensy-weensy little bit at the blurb, I must confess) to journey out into the empty expanse for excitement, adventure, and a non-axed-in door.

Will he find some glass? Is there anything beyond the nothingness of his immediate neighbourhood? And can you sustain an entire novel on this premise alone?

Jack has only 48 hours to find out before the crayons that drew his window scribble him out, along with those he loves, forever.

To five-year-old Jack, Room is the entire world. It is where he was born and grew up; it’s where he lives with his Ma as they learn and read and eat and sleep and play. At night, his Ma shuts him safely in the wardrobe, where he is meant to be asleep when Old Nick visits.

Room is home to Jack, but to Ma, it is the prison where Old Nick has held her captive for seven years. Through determination, ingenuity, and fierce motherly love, Ma has created a life for Jack. But she knows it’s not enough…not for her or for him. She devises a bold escape plan, one that relies on her young son’s bravery and a lot of luck. What she does not realize is just how unprepared she is for the plan to actually work.

Told entirely in the language of the energetic, pragmatic five-year-old Jack, Room is a celebration of resilience and the limitless bond between parent and child, a brilliantly executed novel about what it means to journey from one world to another.

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