Thursday, July 15, 2010

Review of House Rules by Jodi Picoult

From Express Advocate Wyong --

Friday book review - House Rules by Jodi Picoult --

By: Mandi McIntosh --
16 Apr 10 --

JODI Picoult novels debut at No.1 on bookseller charts around the country when they are released.

She is a huge name in women’s fiction and her audiences are very familiar with her style and content. Readers expect to have different voices telling the story. We expect a definite moral dilemma and we also expect a twist at the end.

I was a little disappointed by her 2009 novel Handle With Care but this new novel feels like a return to the form her audiences love.

Picoult’s new novel is titled House Rules and follows a mother with two sons. Her eldest son, Jacob, has Aspergers, a high functioning form of autism. Family life is shaped by a need to keep Jacob happy and safe.

Jacob is obsessed with forensics and loves to watch CSI-style shows to solve the cases. He is 18 but still very much dependent on his school and mother for keeping his routines in place.

The action in this novel is propelled by the death of Jacob’s social skills tutor and we are drawn in to try and ascertain whether Jacob, or perhaps his younger brother Theo, may have been at fault.

This novel has strong voices with the chapters alternating between different characters telling their stories, and Picoult has, as always, done her homework.

The insights into the emotions of the family, and in particular the brother, Theo, show just how difficult and all-consuming it can be to have a family member like Jacob.

The ending in this one wasn’t a huge surprise, but there were a couple of ways it could have gone. This is a novel for Picoult fans, but also a good start if you haven’t tried one of her novels before

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