Book Review: House Rules by Jodi Picoult

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There are a number of books out there about Autism, dealing with autism, managing autism, teaching children with autism, and even how to "cure" autism with fad diets and various misinformation.  It's rare, at least in my experience, for autism to center within fiction. 

House Rules is a book about a family of Jacob Hunt, a child with Aspergers, and his obsession with forensics.  Ultimately it leads to getting involved with the police over a possible murder, and how the police react with an autistic child. 

There are a couple of things I didn't like, such as the declared beliefs that vaccinations cause Autism, that children who are on gluten-free and cassein-free diets can be "cured", and that various highly expensive supplements can "cure" autism.  What's interesting is that the author doesn't say he was cured, but rather his behavior became more manageable. 

Oh, and I solved the crime about 33% into the book (but still was riveted to the book).

What I did like was the portrayal of Jacob's thought process as a person with Aspergers.  The family experiences, the daily routine, the overall atmosphere that is Autism within a family.  It's very familiar, and I find it absolutely fascinating. 

I also loved the writing style.  Often, when I don't enjoy a book, it's because of the writing style.  Jodi Picoult did a fabulous job on this book, and should be commended for her writing style.  It was very similar to a serial story, one you would read in a magazine because of the way it was separated into different voices.  Different points of view, from the police detective, the lawyer, the mother, the younger brother, and Jacob himself were all illuminating. 

Ultimately, as Jodi Picoult stated on her website, was to outline how the justice system would react to typical behaviors in someone with Autism, specifically with Aspergers.  I think she did a fantastic job, and would highly recommend the book to anyone in the Justice System, Police, Sheriff's Department, and any parent with a child who has Autism.  It can be found on Amazon, Simon&Schulsters, or any fine book store. 

Thank you Liesl, for your recommendation.