This story is written from the point of view of a 5 year old named Jack. His mother had been kidnapped at the age of nineteen and Jack and Ma live in an 11X11 room. The kidnapper brings them subsistence type food and on Sundays they get to request a 'treat'.
It is hard at first to understand Jack's language as it is defined as what is in the room or TV, what is seen on TV and what Jack thinks as imaginary. All objects are called by proper nouns: Bed, Wardrobe. This emphasizes the pitifulness of their situation and how a child might process that environment.
Ma comes up with a plan for their escape and has to work with Jack to convince him to try this and then to execute the plan. I simply could not put down the book at this point.
What happens therafter is again a fascinating excerpt on how a cloistered child might see the big scary world.
I found this book fantastic. Well thought out and well written.
First Line: "Today I'm five."