5.0 out of 5 stars
Although Challenging, A Great Read, June 14 2012
This book might just be the best thing I've read in a long time, although it could just be because of how different it is from the books I've been reading lately. My mother in law recommended it to me, saying how amazing the relationship was between mother and son. The story is about a young girl taken captive, held hostage in a garden shed. Although this book is a work of fiction, we all know that these tragic events happen worldwide, and it brings light to the years spent in captivity, and the strength a mother can have to save her son. I'll warn you now that this review is in depth, I don't feel this book can be disucussed without getting into some detail.
When I first started reading, I struggled because it is a not an easy read, not just because the subject matter is so grusome, but because it is "written" by a five year old boy; the choppy sentences, and poor grammer make it difficult to read, but eventually I got used to it.
This book is very graphic, in such an innocent way. Jack has no idea what the creaking bed means, he just counts each springy noise. He doesn't know how his mum got the bruises on her neck, he just notices how they change colour daily. It's disturbing just how much a child sees, and how much they remember, although they might not understand what is going on; they just make up stories in their heads for what makes sense to them.
We all take for granted how much we know, and how much understanding we have of the world around us. All of us accept what we see taking place on TV, although so much of what we see is make-believe, we know that it's not completely fabricated. Being able to interact with different people is a skill that we don't realize we've learnt. We all know not to take certain sayings literally, and try to think how you'd explain different things to a child that doesn't have anything to compare them to.
As I was reading, I never thought for a second that Ma and Jack would escape from the garden shed. It was so exhilerating and climatic, that in turn and by comparison the rest of the book was a let down. After their nightly escape, the book went down hill fast. Days aren't described in their entirety, they are clumped together, speeding up the pase of the book.
Ultimately this book shows how resourceful a person can be when faced with a such horrible situation. It also lets us understand that there are many different "normals." People cannot be judged from the outside, and assessed as "missing out" on something they didn't even know existed.