Horrified beyond grief, his mother cannot imagine Jacob surviving in prison. She admits her autistic son occasionally thrashes out in a physical way but surely not in a murderous way. And yet, Jacob’s own damning testimony along with convincing forensic evidence undermines hers and Theo’s belief in Jacob’s innocence.
Jacob’s lawyer attempts to enter an insanity plea but psychiatric testing proves Jacob was fully aware of the crime committed. He seems to have a motive. He didn’t like the attention Jess gave her boyfriend whom he considered an inferior dimwit. All hope of acquittal seems lost.
This masterful story will have you racing to find out what happens to this young man. Will he survive his court trial? Will he finally admit murdering Jess and deliberately planting clues to mislead police? Or will his absolute honesty somehow save him from what seems like an inevitable guilty conviction?
House Rules will not disappoint. The simple series of events is easy to follow and so well thought out you will find yourself in the story questioning Jacob’s innocence. How could the evidence be otherwise? The various chapters move quickly because the tale is told from inside the heads of the main characters: Jacob, his mother Emma, his brother Theo, Officer Rich, and defense lawyer Oliver.
Since I used to work with students with special needs, I must admit that author Jodi Picoult has written the character of Jacob with his Asberger’s disorder in an often humorous and yet pathetic way. With his high IQ (140), he will fascinate you. Although his absolute straightforwardness wins him few friends, he always plays by the rules, House Rules. He is incapable of doing otherwise. One can only imagine the hardships his mother and brother encountered trying to train Jacob to act normal.
Jacob: “I have a joke: Two muffins are in an oven.
One muffin says, “Wow, it’s really hot in here.”
The other one jumps and says, “Yikes! A talking muffin.”