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Friday, June 28, 2013

Audio Review: House Rules by Jodi Picoult

Title: House Rules
Author: Jodi Picoult
Narrators: Mark Turetsky, Nicole Poole, Andy Paris, Christopher Evan Welch, Rich Orlow
Publisher: Recorded Books
Format: Unabridged Audio
Length: 19 hrs: 55 mins
Publication: March 2, 2010
Source: Purchased
Genre: Mystery/Suspense
Rating: 5 of 5

Synopsis: 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.

My Thoughts: This is a powerful and moving story about a family's love for one another. Emma Hunt will do anything to protect her family including not asking her son if he committed the crime he is accused of. All Emma knows is that he can not survive prison and she must protect him. Even if it means using an insanity defense. 

I really enjoyed this story getting to experience the story from each of the main characters point of view. I found it amazing how each individual can see the same thing and experience it in a completely different way. I kept going back and forth as to Jacob's guilt or innocence. I didn't want him to be guilty but all the evidence pointed to him and then there was the motive. I know that i never want to be on a jury evidence can be made to look however each side wants it to look. This is one of those stories that on the surface it appears easy to understand but the further you go into it the cloudier it becomes. 

This is an unabridged multi-voiced audio. The original work is appropriate for audio adaption. Each narrator did a great job with the narration. It was clear as to the voice the particular chapter was in due to the change in the narrator and each character within each narrators narration was easy to identify and differentiate form the next. Pacing was well maintained throughout the production and the plot flows without interruption. 

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