I’m annoyed. In fact, infuriated with Old Nick and the author. With Old Nick the reasons are valid as he is a malicious captor of the naive. As for the author, Ms. Donoghue, what should I deduce from your scripted words? Is this a satire or some sort of ridiculous glorification of a serious and hideous crime? Did you expect me (the reader) to nurture empathy towards the child? If so, then my sincere apologies for its failure. The book I read was more on the lines of a ‘Criminal Minds’ episode that leisurely transmutes into another Oprah Winfrey melancholic illustration.
Jack’s Room was a fitting answer to his pet name- Bonsai Boy. A compact, dumpy yet a friendly place where his friends(The Rug, Eggsnake, Door among many others) dwelled along with Jack’s anonymous existence. The beloved television was the only source to the outside world besides occasional nostalgic anecdotes from his Ma.
Conversely, for Jack’s Ma the room was a horror that she lived each day. Agonizing in torturous abuse she ached to find a way to free Jack and herself from the claustrophobic chamber of sheer terror.
Wouldn’t it been better if Jack’s Ma (its gets bothersome after a while) was elucidating the ordeal? The rehabilitation sessions at the hospital with Dr.Clay inadequately informs the symptoms of victimization and the subsequent recovery. Besides overdosing on medications, there are several inabilities and relapses in the healing of a broken and petrified mind. Several abused especially captive victims re-live the horror till the last fragment of fear is eradicated. And, this happens rarely. Trusting their friends, for that matter of fact even their loved ones seem impossible. The very sight of strangers sends shivers, sometimes leading them into a series of convulsions. Why then Ms. Donoghue, did you chose to overlook these facts and emphasized on the rehabilitating scenario of Jack and not his mother? It was indeed disheartening to read about the child’s discovery of a strange land where small eating places were called coffeehouses and his comprehending the newly acquired grandparents and other relations. Yet, I’m perplexed as to why I did not empathize with Jack and truly hoped for a passage dedicated to the curing of first-hand victims of a ghastly abuse.
I am not a literary expert and undoubtedly not a novelist. However, as a legitimate owner of this book and a potential reader, it is my prerogative. What on earth were you thinking when you made Jack narrate the entire story?