Jodi Picoult knows `Rules' of engaging readers --
By: Eng.k.almallahi --
13 March 2010 --
World, March 13, 2010 (Pal Telegraph,AP)- "House Rules" (Atria, 353 pages, $28), by Jodi Picoult: Jodi Picoult knows her audience. She tends to write family dramas that tug at the heartstrings. Her books have short chapters, usually written from the perspective of the main characters, and often have a surprise ending.
Her latest book, "House Rules," sticks to this winning formula.
The story focuses on Emma, a single mom with two teenage boys. Her older son is Jacob, 18, who has Asperger's syndrome, a form of autism.
Jacob takes comments at face value, hates the color orange and schedules his days around his favorite TV procedural crime show. He has memorized dialogue from movies to insert into conversation when needed.
When Emma confronts Jacob about an altercation with a teacher, he responds, "You can't handle the truth," a line from Jack Nicholson's 1992 film "A Few Good Men."
Emma has rearranged her life to care for Jacob. She prepares meals according to the colors he likes. On Monday, he eats green foods. On Tuesday, the color of the food is red, and so on. She can barely afford the bills for his medications and supplements.
The other family member affected by Jacob's condition is 15-year-old Theo, who is tired of making allowances for his brother. Theo desperately wants to live a normal life with a normal family. He dreams of having two parents, a big house and a brother who doesn't have special needs.
Then the family is turned upside-down. Jacob's tutor is found murdered, and he is accused of killing her. Emma can no longer shield him from life's harsh realities.
"House Rules" is a compelling mystery with heart. It won't disappoint Picoult's fans, and it should keep new readers engaged.
Monday, April 12, 2010
Review of House Rules by Jodi Picoult
From The Palestine Telegraph --