Book review: House Rules

Posted on Wednesday, May 5th, 2010


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House rulesHouse Rules is written by New York Times bestseller author Jodi Picoult. She studied writing at Princeton University to earn her bachelor’s degree. She completed her master studies at the Harvard University.

Picoult’s novels usually deal with ethical issues and are told from a variety of viewpoints, with each chapter written in a different character’s voice. Picoult uses this technique to show multiple sides of a situation and to underscore areas of moral ambiguity.

House Rules tells the life story of Jacob Hunt, a boy with Asperger’s Syndrome.

Jacob is an intelligent boy but he also has trouble expressing himself to others. As many other children with the  Asperger’s Syndrome he has special focus on one subject, in his case: forensic analysis. He is always showing up at crime scenes and tries to interrupt the researchers by telling them what to do. First they think he is just a disturbed boy but surprisingly enough he is often right.

On a certain day, one of his teachers is found dead. Authorities address themselves to Jacob. While being questioned by the police, he can’t look them into the eyes and he acts nervously. This is a typical way of behaving for someone with Asperger’s syndrome, but it also makes him look suspicious. That’s why the police officers think that he’s guilty of the crime and they accuse him of murder.

By shifting viewpoints Picoult makes statement about the prejudices surrounding the boy’s social disability while on the same time keeping the reader in suspense about who is the actual killer.


Our rating: ★★★★☆


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House rules: A Novel


Book details:

  • Author: Jodi Picoult
  • Hardcover: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Atria; 1 edition (March 2, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743296435
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743296434


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Tagged as Aspergers Syndrome, Fiction, Jodi Picoult, Mystery, Review+ Categorized as By year, 2010, By rating, 4 Stars, By genre, Mystery

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