Defending Jacob by William Landay……..
(There is always the chance that a any book discussion might reveal too much about an unread story – if you haven’t read the book and want to, you might want to wait to read what is written here – just in case.)
Jacob is a high schooler who lives in a small town. In that town, one of his fellow students is murdered. Jacob’s dad is the Defense Attorney on the case – until Jacob is accused of the murder. It turns out that Ben (the murdered boy) was bullying Jacob, giving him quite a motive.
This book opens a lot of avenues of discussion….
- Nature v. Nuture
- The Impact of Working Parents
- Genetic Predisposition
- Community Reaction to Crime
- Murder and Suicide
- What Defines Normal Behavior in Children
- What Parents Are Willing/Unwilling to Believe About Their Children
You better serve wine.
The story was well-paced and I really liked the first half of the book. I felt like Jacob’s story could go either way and I struggled to decide whether Jacob was innocent or guilty. But then the book turns and a lot of surprising things happen. Which is generally good in a book. But this story just had too many twists. It felt contrived and too easy at the same time.
It really would make a good book for any discussion group and maybe even a good book for parents/teenagers to read together. I just wasn’t thrilled with plot development toward the end.