I have brewed some ice tea and have water, coffee and cookies. Have a seat and enjoy.
Jodi Piccoult has a wonderful way of writing, or at least I think so. This book is following much the way a previous book of hers I read did.
She gives equal description and writing to each character and writes in first person.
I am loving Jacob and the way he depicts his illness. He tells of how things are from his world. Very much like autism. I love his mother also. It is so hard to actually take care of special needs children and I admire those that do not put them in residences ( even though I can understand that too).
I have worked with children with middle to low functioning autism, but not Asperberger's. I always wondered about the degree of similarities and differences, and this book is helping me to see some of that.
We come across the struggle of siblings here and it seems to me that Jacob is so so understanding of his brother's actions towards him. I really can't say if I would be acting much different than Theo. I could say I would and would like to think I would but....
And poor Theo. How much he must long for the typical family life to be breaking in and experiencing other family settings. Only when I got older did I understand that each family has its own degree of dysfunctionality involved. How many of us always wanted a different family growing up? Or some small changes in the family dynamic? The grass is always greener on the other side, right?
I think it is so funny, in a way, how Jacob can fib just like others (sneaking out to the crime scene) and then innocently like a five year old, give it away. Like when he was looking throught the newspaper. Gotta give it to him, for as much as he can't look people in the eye, he certainly has an eye for detail.
The prom...I went to a prom with a student my mom worked with when I was 11. His name was Charles Miller and he had down syndrome. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and it was great time. I often went to my mom's school to help out on days off from school.
Just like Jacob's mother, how many friends have our caretaker's or ourselves lost due to our disease. I do feel for her.
I can't tell if I like this Captain Rich's attitude towards Jacob or not. I understand it, but don't have to like it, . I do admire his caring so much for his daughter.
I have to say that at first I found the story hard to read. I have worked with Aspergers children and this book is right on the mark for how they interact with the world. When I got 'caught' up in the story the reading went easier.
I feel so much for Jacob, he is so into forensics, but has no way to express that to the world eg: employment. His visits with Jenn are helping him to interact socially but his fledgling romantic feelings for her are a problem. Personally I think I would have choosen a male to work with him in this way, always assuming there was any interested.
Emma, his mom, has to be given the highest respect, she has taken a hard challenge and worked her life around it to make it work for her and her kids. Not the easiest thing to do, especially when the father bailed out. I think that she starts to 'see' the problems Theo is having with her focus having to be on Jacob so much of the time, but really doesn't have many other options.
Rich, the detective, I am having second thoughts about his empathy. When push came to shove with political pressure on him to 'solve' the case, he tried to focus on the boyfriend Mark, but when Jacob gave him and easy out, with his out of context and his 'mannor' he took it. I don't like the way he did that last 'interview' with Jacob and how he set him up, to be arrested.
I feel so badly for Jacob, he is in an ailen world and has no way of 'reading' the clues that we have about when and how to say things. Being literal can be so damaging. As can being honest, black and white in a grey world.
Jenn, is a good example of university students gaining work experience in the field of their choice. She is an open caring empathic young woman. Unfortunately she has fallen for a bully, who doesn't regard her intellegence as anything except a threat to his 'manlyness'.
Mark, is a bully in a grown body, he functions on the physical plane and has little regard for intelect. It's all about him, in many ways, and any one he is involved with had best agree with him.
Oliver, the lawyer, brand shinny new, full of energy and still idealistic. He will be a good choice for Jacob, but I'm not sure he will be 'savy' enough to call in 'professionals' to help his case. The state will definetly have the cards stacked in their favor.
Personally I predict that it was a comedy of errors that caused this whole situation. With Mark abuseing Jenn physically, and leaving marks on her. Then, Theo, scaring her in the shower and her falling and hitting her head on the counter. With Jacob showing up alone for his 'visit' and probably walking in on this scene, and cleaning up the mess, I'm not sure who created the 'mess' yet, (but I'm leaning toward the boyfriend). I don't think she was 'murdered' at all. I think all three people involved Mark, Theo and Jacob inadvertantly created this situation and poor Jacob with his inability to communicate, but with a very high IQ and intense interest in forensics, created a cover up to protect his brother, though how he knew his brother had been in the house is a good question.
I can't wait to continue with this story, to see what happens next and how Jacob reacts to what is happening to him.
What a puzzle Jodi has laid out for all of us. She's given us detailed info on each of the involved characters and then left us to figure it out. It cracks me up that Jacob 'interfered' in the crime scene to leave clues for the police. He is just such a character! I wonder if he knows who killed Jessie. For a minute I was afraid that Theo had done it what with what had happened at Jessie's parent's house. I suppose it is still a possibility.
I love this book so far, learning so much about what it means to have Aspergers and those that are part of the person's life. I wonder how Jodi became so knowledgeable on the subject. Is th is personal for her? I've never read any of her other books and might have to look for more in the future.
I, too, have worked with kids with Autism, but not Aspergers. I wasn't impressed with the way the teacher worked with the one boy we had in our class in 8th grade. I didn't think he handled the situation well at all. Lots of frustration on the teacher's part, not just the student. If Danny (the one kid) had half of the awareness that Jacob has, he must have been in so much pain and humiliation. I feel really bad for him.
Post by Blossom/Jackie W. on Apr 28, 2011 10:08:22 GMT -5
Well; you ladies are way ahead of me (I've not finished the full reading assignment). But; that's O.K. I'll catch up..... Anyway;
It certainly isn't what you'd call and "easy read" at least for me. Probably becasue I find I'm actually "learning" some new things as I go. I've never known anyone with Autism (personally) and Aspergens..... never heard of it. But it's interesting how "tidbits" of quasi related info is also included by the writer. I.E. the lawsuits, the symptoms of autism resembling mercury poisoning, the removal of mercury in children's vaccines etc.... I tend to read slower when I'm being "educated" .
I'm like you Susan, I wonder how Jodi could know so much. It's gotta be some sort of personal expereince or one heck of a research team she has.
I agree with you Antoinette re: Jacob and the way he "depicts" his illness.....also interesting that he can sort of step out of the box and be analytical of himself.... yet in many ways unable to make the changes.
Emma certainly has her hands full; everything she does has to be considered and pre-reviewed and planned for, actually the whole family. I feel badly for Theo.... he's being robbed in many ways and I'm not sure of the long term emotional/mental impact it's going to have on him.
Mark; I'd like to slap that boy up the side of the head and as for the father who originally bailed ..... we won't even talk about what I'd like to do with him. Just give me an hour in a sealed room!
Anyhohow, you guys keep going.... like I said, I'll catch up to you.
That is an interesting idea you have there, Mary, re: not a murder after all. Hmmmmm... But how did Jessie fall and hit her head is the big question. She was at her parent's house when she took her shower (wonder why there for the shower?). I can see Jacob very easily covering up for his brother and planting the clues. On the other hand, it did seem like Jacob already has it all figured out and was trying to make it easier on the police by setting things up.
Blossom, I'm like you with the boyfriend and the father. Let's all get them into a room and go after them, . It's a good writer that can get you to empathize with the characters and hate others. We all are feeling for Jacob and his family, hating on the boyfriend and the father, beginning to really be pissed at the cop, and rooting but worried about the inexperienced lawyer.
I have seen My Sister's Keeper, Antoinette, but not the other 2. I cried like a baby (actually sobbed) and that's when I found out people with COPD can't breathe when they cry, . But I see the similarities between the two siblings and their difficulties handling so many of the situations, ie: the parent's total involvement with the 'sick' one and having to pass over the needs of the 'well' child, the frustration yet total love and protection of the well child towards the ill child....there are many actually. I'll have to look for the 'Handle With Care", is that another Piccoult book? I know My Sister's Keeper is supposed to be a really good book to read, I wonder if the other movies you mentioned were also books first. I've written them down and will ask the library.
When I first looked at how much we had to read I was panicking that I wouldn't be able to catch up, but the story takes on a life of it's own and becomes an easy read. Esp. where we are in the book right now, it's going to get busy now that we know who everyone is and what their place in the story is. I am excited to see what comes next.
Ignore my comment above about Jessie being at her parent's house. What the heck was I thinking? Well, I'll tell you. For some reason I totally was into the people in house that Theo broke into just being out for the day, not OUT with Jessie being the 'caretaker'. It just hit me last night and I thought you guys must think I'm really dense. (OK, so maybe I am, )
Looked up those titles of movies, Aero. I see they are all Piccoult novels and that this type of story is her thing, families and dilemmas/crisis.
The Tenth Circle was actually a movie on Lifetime and was a Picoult movie. Handle With Care is a book also by Picoult. I have another book of hers sitting in my back room to read but I will wait. Ihave so many books going right now, .
I'm with you Sue., I've picked it up while in the laundry room and have probably read about as much as I should until I know how far to go. Got a call from the library, the other book I ordered is in, so I'll pick it up tomorrow and have something else to read inbetween. Even if you guys use it for a club read during the late spring early summer I won't be able to participate anyway.
You weren't wrong, Aero. I was reading ahead, too. I only have case 8 to read left and am going to wait a couple of days to do that. I'm going to forget everything, . My husband has super retention when it comes to reading books. He remembers EVERYTHING! One book I just finished had a boat in it for just a couple of pages, and he remembered the color of the boat after all these years. I, on the other hand, forget it all. I can reread books and get almost just as much pleasure the second time as the first.