House Rules; Jodi Picoult
House Rules takes place in Vermont, and the major players of the story are Emma Hunt, and her two teenage sons. Jacob is eighteen and has Asperger's syndrome, and his brother Theo, is a normal fifteen year old boy, but one whose childhood has suffered somewhat as a result of his brother's condition. For life revolves around Jacob and the importance of keeping order to his life. He lives a life of routines. For example, he eats only certain colored food on certain days, watches the same shows on television at the same time each day (CSI is his favorite). In fact, Jacob possesses so much knowledge on the subject of forensics, he could truly aid the investigators. However, although Jacob is very intelligent, what he sorely lacks is social skills --common in people with Aspergers. To help Jacob, his mother Emma hires, Jess, a pretty grad student to tutor Jacob in developing social skills. Without giving away too much of the plot, I will just say that the story ends with a murder trial, and I was not disappointed by the ending. I can honestly say that this novel held my interest throughout.
I have read all of Jodi Picoult's books, many shined, but others not so much. This book made me glad that I had not given up on this author. This review is based on the audio book which was borrowed from my local library. The audio book made this story a home run for me. It was fantastic, as it was narrated by five different readers: Mark Turetsky, Nicole Poole, Andy Paris, Christopher Welch and Rick Orlow. Each reader so beautifully captured the characters perfectly. The chapters alternate with multiple viewpoints. Picoult did a terrific job portraying Jacob, a teen with Aspergers, and what his life and the life of his family was like as a result.
Although I have read other books on A.S.(non fiction): "Born of a Blue Day and Look Me in the Eye", this novel really made you feel like Jacob could be part of your family. His high IQ, his obsession with routine and order, his literal interpretation of everything, his inability to comprehend metaphors, inappropriate social interactions and his self absorbed, flat affect -- all were pitch perfect. This novel is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. (5/5 stars - Library audio book)