Tuesday, January 31, 2012

House Rules

House RulesHouse Rules by Jodi Picoult
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This is a hard book to review. As the mom of an autistic son, so much of it was like my everyday life that while I was reading, I was looking around to make sure I wasn't being watched. It was interesting to get the autistic POV. There is still so much that I don't understand about my son's world, this was a very clear and accurate picture for those who don't know. Reading the book was painful at times, I started to dread picking it up to read and finally accepted that I can't finish this one.

The writing was typical Picoult - very clean and full of plot twists. There were many things that she pulled out of popular culture that made the story seem familiar - not in a "done that" way, but in a way that made you feel that the story was real.

Synopsis: When your son can’t look you in the eye . . . does that mean he’s guilty?

Jacob Hunt is a teen with Asperger’s syndrome. He’s hopeless at reading social cues or expressing himself well to others, though he is brilliant in many ways. But he has a special focus on one subject—forensic analysis. A police scanner in his room clues him in to crime scenes, and he’s always showing up and telling the cops what to do. And he’s usually right.

But when Jacob’s small hometown is rocked by a terrible murder, law enforcement comes to him. Jacob’s behaviors are hallmark Asperger’s, but they look a lot like guilt to the local police. Suddenly the Hunt family, who only want to fit in, are directly in the spotlight. For Jacob’s mother, Emma, it’s a brutal reminder of the intolerance and misunderstanding that always threaten her family. For his brother, Theo, it’s another indication why nothing is normal because of Jacob.

And over this small family, the soul-searing question looms: Did Jacob commit murder?

Recommended Reading:
Keeping Faith by Jodi Picoult
Secrets of Eden by Chris Bohjalian
Big Girl by Danielle Steele
One Good Dog by Susan Wilson

1 comment:

Luxembourg said...

In "House Rules," Jodi Picoult explores the complex world of Emma Hunt, who is almost entirely focused on helping her eighteen-year-old son, Jacob, learn to communicate appropriately with his family and peers. This is a Herculean task, considering the fact that Jacob has Asperger's syndrome, a disorder characterized by a compulsive attachment to order and routine, a tendency to take comments literally, hypersensitivity to bright lights, human touch, and scratchy fabrics, a reluctance to make eye contact, lack of empathy, painful bluntness, and difficulty relating to others. Emma's life is complicated by the fact that her husband, Henry, left shortly after their younger son, Theo, was born. Fifteen-year-old Theo deeply resents the amount of time and money that his mother lavishes on his older brother. At great expense, Emma brought early intervention therapists into her home who were "intent on dragging [Jacob] out of his own little world." She also buys costly medicines, supplements, and special foods that, she insists, help regulate Jacob's behavior.