House Rules: A Novel (Paperback)
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March 2010 Indie Next List
“Jacob Hunt is an 18-year-old whose IQ borders on the genius spectrum but who also has Asperger's Syndrome, which leaves him unable to interact well with others. His passion for forensic science causes him to become a suspect in the murder of his tutor resulting in an arrest and trial that triggers many of the symptoms of his disability. This heartwarming and moving story is one that only Picoult could write.”
— Carol Hicks, Bookshelf At Hooligan Rocks, Truckee, CA
When your son can’t look you in the eye…does that mean he’s guilty?
Jacob Hunt is a teen with Asperger’s syndrome. He’s hopeless at reading social cues or expressing himself well to others, though he is brilliant in many ways. He has a special focus on one subject—forensic analysis. A police scanner in his room clues him in to crime scenes, and he’s always showing up and telling the cops what to do. And he’s usually right.
But when Jacob’s small hometown is rocked by a terrible murder, law enforcement comes to him. Jacob’s behaviors are hallmark Asperger’s, but they look a lot like guilt to the local police. Suddenly the Hunt family, who only want to fit in, are thrust directly in the spotlight. For Jacob’s mother, it’s a brutal reminder of the intolerance and misunderstanding that always threaten her family. For his brother, it’s another indication why nothing is normal because of Jacob.
And for the frightened small town, the soul-searing question looms: Did Jacob commit murder?
House Rules is “a provocative story in which [Picoult] explores the pain of trying to comprehend the people we love—and reminds us that the truth often travels in disguise” (People).