- Paperback: 560 pages
- Publisher: Washington Square Press; Reprint edition (November 9, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0743296443
- ISBN-13: 978-0743296441
- Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1.5 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 1,191 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,573 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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House Rules: A Novel Paperback – Unabridged, November 9, 2010
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"It's hard to exaggerate how well Picoult writes."
--The Financial Times
"Picoult is a skilled wordsmith, and she beautifully creates situations that not only
provoke the mind but touch the flawed souls in all of us."
--The Boston Globe
About the Author
Jodi Picoult received an AB in creative writing from Princeton and a master’s degree in education from Harvard. The recipient of the 2003 New England Book Award for her entire body of work, she is the author of twenty-six novels, including the #1 New York Times bestsellers House Rules, Handle With Care, Change of Heart, and My Sister’s Keeper, for which she received the American Library Association’s Margaret Alexander Edwards Award. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and three children. Visit her website at JodiPicoult.com.
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The book centers on Jacob a teenage boy with Asperger's syndrome. His mother is clearly under a great deal of stress. Her life is completely centered on helping Jacob to the detriment of the rest of the family. Her husband divorced her because of this. In addition, her younger son Theo gets little attention and feels neglected. The strain on the family increases after Jacob is accused of murder.
The story is told from various perspectives: Jacob's, Theo's, the mother's, the lawyer's and a detective's. I think the alternating voices add to the story, as they show how events affect each person and strain their relationships.
The mystery of what actually happened to Jess was another part of the book, and I don't think I realized what actually happened till the very end. Jodi did a great job of leading you down different paths throughout the novel. I love when an author has the skill in storytelling to keep you engaged from start to finish.
I also enjoyed seeing the story unfold through the eyes of all the different characters. A good read!
In this case, she tries to convey the story of an autistic boy who (it appears) may have murdered his social skills tutor. However, I found the plot to be predictable (including the "twist"). She also didn't do as good of a job in character development as she does in her other books (her "lawyer" character, for instance, was alternately bumbling / an expert).
Picoult also ends up implying (through her characters) that vaccines cause autism - albeit in a roundabout way. She relies heavily on the shaky science of "toxins" - readers who want to learn more about autism should be warned that this book is an incomplete source, so it should be complemented with other resources about autism as well.
On the negative side, it was a little long. After a while the story was more repetitive than I personally thought it needed to be. When it did end, I didn't see that ending coming.