Monday, August 9, 2010

House Rules

{gigantic sigh, heard round the world, or at least round my living room}

A good local friend, who is also a mom of a child on the autism spectrum AND a speech pathologist, loaned me a book recently. It's "House Rules", by Jodi Picoult. I should have known better, and my hubby even said so later (privately), but I graciously accepted the book and began to read it a few days later. I've read Jodi Picoult before, at least 3 of her other books, and I always am left feeling emotionally drained, even stunned sometimes---see: Handle With Care, about a young girl with a rare condition causing her bones to break at the slightest thing, etc. Talk about an emotional roller coaster.....her parents sue the OB, who also happens to be the mom's best friend. Oh yeah, good times.

And now we have House Rules, recommended to me because the main character has Asperger's Syndrome. Generally, I like seeing portrayals of these kind of characters in books, on TV, etc. because I'm curious to see how accurate they are, how much time the writer has (or has NOT) put into his research in creating the character. Well, Jodi Picoult has put her time in, that's for sure, and maybe that's why the book is so hard for me to read.

The main character, Jacob, is more severely affected by his (imaginary) Asperger's than is Mr. L, for what it's worth. Jacob's family has had to make many more accommodations in their daily lives because of his extreme need for order and routine---see: White Food Day (first of every month), avoidance of all things orange (including no parking next to an orange car, etc). You get the idea. But these aren't the things that get to me when I'm reading, it's the fact that Jacob is arrested and charged with the murder of his social-skills tutor. And the fact that he is communicatively and socially impaired, combined with the fact that the police and judicial system know NOTHING about autism or how to deal with him, scares the *#@# out of me.

Because he's 18, he's legally an adult, meaning that his mother can't be there to advocate for him, isn't allowed to make legal decisions for him, etc. But he is in no way competent to make his own decisions, despite what the police think which is only based on how brilliant he is and the fact that he can quote the Miranda rights verbatim. And it just keeps spiraling from there, horribly bad coincidence after misunderstanding after misinformation after terrible unfairness.....I know you get the idea. But somehow I can't stop reading.

Disclaimer: I am about 2/3 of the way through the book at this point. No I don't know how it ends yet, and please don't tell me. Let me break my own heart on my own time, ok? Surely, this brilliant young man who does remind me a bit of my own first-born cannot have really committed murder. Surely he will be exonerated, and the people involved will all be miraculously educated about autism and live the rest of their lives educating others......right? RIGHT?

7 comments:

子怡谷怡谷怡谷翔 said...

祝大家都平平安安健健康康!............................................................

冠陳儒 said...

來看看你逛逛blog囉,加油!..................................................................

廷淑君淑君伸 said...

喜歡看大家的文章,每篇都是一個故事,都是一種心情~~祝大家開心愉快...............................................................

翊翊翊翊張瑜翊翊翊 said...

獲益不少,謝謝分享!............................................................

王綺廖家堯廖家堯穎 said...

生存乃是不斷地在內心與靈魂交戰;寫作是坐著審判自己。. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

惠邱邱邱邱雯 said...

與人相處不妨多用眼睛說話,多用嘴巴思考,..................................................... ............

crystal said...

I loved the book. Emotionally draining, yes - but makes me feel like I have a community out there who understands.