House Rules

  • by Jodi Picoult
  • Narrated by Mark Turetsky, Nicole Poole, Andy Paris, Christopher Evan Welch, Rich Orlow
  • 19 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Great book until the ending

Jodi, What happened! Did you run out of printing ink? What happened to the end of the story? The rest of the story was great. I'm guessing there will be a part two to give it a ending. We don't listen for 20 hours not to have a ending!
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- Charlotte

author's depiction of autism is inaccurate

Jodi Picoult 's writing is compelling and I quickly found myself immersed in the story. As the mother of an high functioning autistic son I was curious as to how the plot would develope. Her depiction of the autistic son was so two-dimensional and insulting to those on the spectrum that by the end I was disgusted.
The entire ending assumes that those on the spectrum behave as preprogrammed robots with no ability to censor their actions, no ability to add what they know to what they've been taught. This is not so. The novel carries on for chapters (spoiler) because no one bothers to ask the boy if he is guilty and he simply doesn't mention that he didn't do it?!! Even after he goes to jail and then on trial!!! And this doesn't even touch on the misinformation Picoult throws in there about autism and vaccines (she needed to do her research, the doctor who initiated the study linking vaccines and autism and the medical journal who printed it retracted all findings because the study's research didn't follow ethical guidelines- in other words the doctor cheated to force results because his financers were suing the people who made the vaccine). Yet, even after naming the mmr vaccine as the cause of autism, she does point out well known celebs diagnosed with autism- these individuals well into their 50's and 60's-too old to have recieved the mmr vaccine. Lastly Picoult depicted the mother and brother as social pariahs because of the main character's autism. Fortunately, the world doesn't work that way. If you do read this book please don't take away the picture Picoult paints of autism as accurate. She didn't do her research
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- Katie

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-02-2010
  • Publisher: Recorded Books