Sunday, March 27, 2011

House Rules by Jodi Picoult

Picoult continues to provide something to think and think and think about. How does she do that??

This was our March book club book and I am just finishing it right now...I know a little slow, but it was well worth it!

This is the story of Jacob, his mother Emma and his younger brother Theo. It is also the story of how a family copes with an all-consuming, life altering, diagnosis. Jacob has Asperger's. He is brilliant and unable to connect, obsessed and childlike all at the precise moment. His meltdowns span of shirts with buttons and eating the wrong colored food on a specific day and have torn apart his family. Mom is ultra-focused on Jacob and Theo breaks into 'normal' family houses.

Into this mix come Jess Oglivy. She is Jacob's social skills tutor and the object of Jacob's love. She is also found dead in a culvert behind the house she was staying in wrapped in Jacob's quilt.

I do have to say I had this figured out way before the end - I think Picoult wanted you do to that though. The purpose of the book was not figuring out what happened to Jess - instead it was figuring out what happens to a family who suspects one of their own. The story is about the trial of Jacob for Jess's murder.

How does a parent who has forfeited her life handle the idea her son may be a murderer? What about the father who deserted them? How does the legal system deal with an man with Asperger's on the stand - one who needs sensory breaks and can't stand loose hair around a woman's shoulder or the sound and sight of a crumpled paper?

In typical Picoult fashion the reader is drawn into a world too painful to really understand, one where surprising moments of pure joy and peace appear and the bad guys are not always the bad guys.

I loved it!!! Read it!

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