They tell me I'm lucky to have a son who's so verbal, who is blisteringly intelligent, who can take apart the broken microwave and have it working again an hour later. They think there is no greater hell than having a son who is locked in his own world, unaware that there's a wider one to explore. But try having a son who is locked in his own world, and still wants to make a connection. A son who tries to be like everyone else, but truly doesn't know how.
Jacob Hunt is a teenage boy with Asperger's syndrome. He's hopeless at reading social cues or expressing himself well to others, and like many kids with AS, Jacob has a special focus on one subject -- in his case, forensic analysis. He's always showing up at crime scenes, thanks to the police scanner he keeps in his room, and telling the cops what they need to do...and he's usually right. But then his town is rocked by a terrible murder and, for a change, the police come to Jacob with questions. All of the hallmark behaviors of Asperger's - not looking someone in the eye, stimulatory tics and twitches, flat affect - can look a lot like guilt to law enforcement personnel. Suddenly, Jacob and his family, who only want to fit in, feel the spotlight shining directly on them. For his mother, Emma, it's a brutal reminder of the intolerance and misunderstanding that always threaten her family. For his brother, Theo, it's another indication of why nothing is normal because of Jacob. And over this small family the soul-searing question looms: Did Jacob commit murder?
Emotionally powerful from beginning to end, House Rules looks at what it means to be different in our society, how autism affects a family, and how our legal system works well for people who communicate a certain way - and fails those who don't.
©2010 Jodi Picoult (P)2010 Recorded Books, LLC
I have two children with Aspergers and two without. I loved how the relationship between the two brothers developed. I often try to guess "who dunnit' and did in this case but not for the same reasons that the ending gave. It was very moving.
I throroughly enjoyed this book - especially the narration. It was the first Jody Picoult book I'd read and it was just great. Highly recommend it.
Basically a good easy listening story...........I liked it.........but way Tooooooooooooo long..actually don;t know how to rate it...............just too long..........
This is a well-performed story with vividly drawn characters, and its portrait of a family misshapen by one member with Asperger's syndrome is detailed, interesting and largely credible. (Some of the narration in the voice of the person with Asperger's isn't believable, but dramatic license allows.) Alas, the novel turns on a crime, and as a mystery the book is amateurish and annoying. There's one witness who could clear up the mystery in a heartbeat, but the police nor the lawyer nor the family ever bother to ask the simple questions necessary to do so, instead believing presumptions that any sophisticated reader knows from the start to be false. There's even a dramatic interview toward the end where you expect someone finally to uncover the truth, but no. The characters continue to act like questions that have never been asked have in fact been answered, even though the reader knows better. The solution is, then, very unsatisfying. Family drama: B. Mystery novel: F.
I usually like what Picoult has written, but this was toooo long and toooo predictable. I really didn't care about the characters. I felt like wasted an Audible credit and a lot of listening hours.
I started listening to audiobooks about 13 years ago when my daughter, a year old at the time, would keep me up for hours during the night. They quickly became one of my favorite forms of entertainment, and I've listened to hundreds over the years; I've gotten very particular about the narrators and performances. Jodi Picoult is one of my favorite authors, but some of the performances of her other audiobooks have left something to be desired. Not true of this one. I thoroughly enjoyed the performance and found it to be one of the best I've ever heard. All the actors were great, but the one who voiced Jacob really nailed him. The book itself was fascinating. All in all I was very sad when I finished it.
I love Jodi Picoult because she develops her characters so well. She also explores pertinent themes and develops excellent plots. This particular book is about a mother's love for her child with Asperger's syndrome.
I learned so much from the book and felt my way through it. I will read everyone of her books I'm sure.
I am often impressed with the talent Jodi Picoult displays for creating home scenes so vivid and realistic, they sound autobiographical. This is one of those stories. Perhaps just a little drawn out at times, I still found it difficult to put down (or rather, press stop!). One of her better ones, particularly for anyone who enjoyed My Sister's Keeprer.
My own mother recommended this book to me as the character Jacob strongly reminded her of my son Alex who has aspergers syndrome. It also highlights how other family members lives are affected. Combined with a murder mystery this book is a real winner! One of Jodi's best.
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