Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Book Review: House Rules, by Jodi Picoult

Picoult's astounding ability to drag me into the mind and awareness of others has astounded me once again. Jacob, and 18 year old young man who has Asperger's Syndrome is more than just quirky. His current obsession with crime scene invetigation is about to land him in trouble like he's never seen.

All his life, Emma has been attempting to get others to accept her son Jacob in mainstream society. She doesn't want his schools to treat him as if he is simply a label, but to accept him and help him to learn and grow and feel successful. Jacob, just wants to belong. He has no concept that others do not have the same interests as he does. He doesn't understand social norms or that others have expectations of him on a social level. He cannot imagine anybody thinking other than the way he thinks.

Theo is Jacob's younger brother. On the verge of manhood, yet having no father figure, Theo has always fell by the wayside. He often is put into a situation where he is more of a big brother to Jacob than the other way around. His compulsion to belong to a family leads to some criminal behavior and ultimately turns his family of origina inside-out.

The details and research that Picoult puts into her works is truly amazing. Her stories are gripping, and current. House Rules offers the reader an inside look of what could happen when somebody who seems so alien tries to fit into the mainstream world, and how that world misunderstands frankness for admission of guilt. Finally, adults with asperger's can begin to see that they are not alone in this world. Being misunderstood comes with the territory and sometimes even having an interpreter isn't enough to get the message through properly. It is a frustrating way to live.

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