The number one bestseller: just because your son can't look you in the eye ... does that make him guilty? Autism and families are entwined in Picoult's gripping novel.
Jodi Picoult grew up in Nesconset, New York. She received an A.B. in creative writing from Princeton and a master's degree in education from Harvard. Her previous novels include Keeping Faith, The Pact, and Mercy. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and three children.
Perennial bestseller Picoult (Handle with Care) has a rough time in this Picoult-esque blend of medical and courtroom drama that lacks her usual storytelling finesse. Eighteen-year old Jacob Hunt has Asperger's syndrome, and his devoted single mother, Emma, has built their family's life around Jacob's needs, sacrificing her career to act as his caregiver and all but ignoring a younger son, Theo. But when Jacob is accused of murder, that carefully crafted life comes apart, and all of the hallmarks of Jacob's diagnosis begin to make him look guilty. Emma hires a young attorney whose attachment to Jacob brings him close to the family as he struggles to mount a defense for Jacob, whose inability to read social cues makes him less than an ideal client. While Picoult's research is impeccable and she deals intelligently with charged questions about autism and Asperger's, the whodunit is stretched sitcom-thin and handled poorly, with characters withholding information from the reader throughout. Picoult's writing, line by line, is as smooth as ever, and she does a great job of getting into Jacob's head, but the wobbly plotting is a massive detriment. (Mar.) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.
A national favourite . . . touching and emotive. * Sunday
It's impossible not to get immersed in this intricate and fascinating drama. * Cosmopolitan Book of the Month *
Brilliant. Absolutely gripping, insightful and very sad. * SHE Book of the Month *
Impossible to put down and stayed in my mind long after I had finished. * Observer *
HOUSE RULES is utterly gripping. * Stylist *