Wednesday, September 21, 2011

House Rules by Jodi Picoult: Somehow Engaging

Jodi Picoult had always had her own style of writing when it comes to delivering a message and story to her readers. This is so far my second time on her work, the first being My Sister's Keeper, and in my personal opinion, this would be a much better book which attracted me. I would say it might be influenced by my own personal interest in autism and Asperger's syndrome, as I had personal experience linked with it. 

In House Rules, Jodi narrated the story of a boy with Asperger's being accused of murder over the death of a girl, who happened to be his social tutor. In between, readers could look through the eyes of different characters who were around the boy (Jacob, in this case). Not all of them knew him truly, some had bad impression on him; there were also some who believed he was innocent. Hence, it was really quite a good read on it as you could experience how different understanding on autism of different people showed, which was precisely what we needed to know about our society today regarding autism awareness. Of course, Jacob might not be anything the autistic child you saw at your place, because each autistic child will develop different trait. Even in autism itself, there are a wide spectrum of traits whereby Jacob fall under the Asperger's syndrome. As a general note, people with Asperger's would most likely develop a certain interest in a specific field and might even be excelling in it. In House Rules, Jacob was a boy who liked dinosaurs when he was young but as he stepped into his teens, he found extreme passion in forensic science. You might think what I had said so far did not say anything about house rules - yes. When the whole story unfold, you would realized it was all linked to house rules, the house rules Jacob's single mother set up to keep the family running after her husband left and with two sons, having one of them with Asperger's. Asperger's tend to follow rules being set for them and literal, and that's what Jacob did all along. Other than the focus on autism, we could see from different characters, on how they strived to live, no matter how life went by. For example, Jacob's mother who has to cope with all these, raising two sons alone, settling the court case, taking care of Jacob of his autistic habits and Theo, Jacob's brother, another teen whom needed to be cared. Theo, on the other hand, being a younger brother of Jacob, had to take care of his elder brother, out of irony. Due to complications, Emma, the mother, would sometimes cared Jacob and seemed to ignored Theo when it was not the actual case. I find it warm to see Theo being so understanding though with certain dissatisfactions sometimes. Jacob, though autistic, had his own thought and loved his mother and brother as much as them. It was just too hard for him to express it.

I should stop writing more as it will lead to me revealing spoilers which will kill your surprise. I believed there were times when we do share certain traits similar to them and I could truly felt it when Jacob was trying to do his best and yet no one understands him. In this world, we might be bearing a closely related functionals like DNAs, proteins and systems, but within these similarities, there was no doubt there were always difference - and I really understand the difference of social means. I get to realize my interpretation of how people socialize was so different, but no matter how, it will go through somehow, you just need to work hard. Readers, I highly recommend this book, really...

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