Spoiler Alert, I suppose, especially if you read the review link below.
This is a single-night (maybe you can stretch it to two nights) read. I haven’t seen the movie, but thought that I would read this, for the purpose of sharing a teachers’ book club night. Now, it turns out that the evening set aside for the book club recently, was already booked on my calendar. Such are the busy lives that we all carefully negotiate. I thought I’d jot a few notes on my thoughts on the book.
It takes about four pages to get a sense of ‘the voice’ of the book. Intimate conversation is shared by the protagonists, Jack and Ma, victims of the violent and isolating experience of being held captive in a room. Jack has been born into this captivity, as a result of the horrible and redundant rape of his mother, at the hands of her kidnapper. One would think, by this description, that the book would be an extremely sad piece of work, but what I found intriguing were the many sorts of activities and pretend games that the mother created for her son and how they, indeed, survived this bleak situation.
I felt empathy for Ma throughout. Given even ideal circumstances, I know that I ache for my own children when they confront conflict or struggle, so I can’t imagine the obstacles that would be mine emotionally in such a crisis. The reader sees the internal struggle of both mother and son, and also sees their vulnerability, but at the same time, can not help but experience amazement at their strength of character and gut.
I raise up a prayer for all of those victims of traumatic experiences such as this one. I pray for ‘the missing’ and for those family members who know this story intimately.
I recommend this one, but don’t know that I will go out to see the movie. This might be a ‘wait until Netflix’ title.