Saturday, 8 October 2011

House Rules by Jodi Picoult


House Rules by Jodi Picoult is a basic fiction novel in my eyes. It takes an interesting concept and writes a story about it. With all due respect, it is very simple and straightforward as a book. Not that it was bad, of course.

It’s an interesting story about a young adult with Asperger’s syndrome (AS) and is accused of a murder. It is apparently a much dramatised book: no AS sufferer is ever that affected and socially inept. He has been said to be the highest degree of every possible AS. I can understand why she may have done this, to educate and increase drama, but it annoyed a lot of people who labelled the books unrealistic.

The book is engaging and though it’s not un-put-down-able, you do have it on your mind. Picoult is an excellent writer and you get absorbed utterly in the story. At one point, I even had to stop reading because I felt too emphatic with Jacob, the protagonist with AS, and it was tearing me apart to read it. A credit to her skill, do not doubt that.

It is told in the way of multiple narrators- Jacob with AS; his mother, Emma; his brother, Theo; their lawyer, Oliver; and the police investigator, Rich. It is a slightly ruined family but fairly understandable and a real portrayal of how a family would be in this scenario. There are also typical elements of romance, a tad of action and mystery. I mean, who actually committed the murder?

The plot was well thought out, and the clues were drip fed so that we were guessing and making conclusions as the story went on. And then, at the end, the final realisation of what happened in the murder added a final but nonetheless foreshadowed twist.

Like I said, it is typical albeit good.


  1. I've read one of Jodi Picoult's books and enjoyed it but it had more of a paranormal element. I can't even remember what it was but I felt like it left me hanging a bit.
    Her books are EVERYWHERE! but I haven't been tempted thus far.

  2. Did it have ghosts in? That seems kind of up her street.

    I know. I'm always afraid to read writers like that because I feel I should try everything by them before having an opinion! I would never have read it if the concept didn't sound so interesting. I'm going to try the Dog in the Night time if I can and compare what I thought of their presentation of mental illness.

  3. I do think it had ghosts. It was so long ago that I read it. It was kind of spooky if I remember correctly.