Thursday, June 24, 2010
More Books - House Rules - Jodi Picoult
You all know I'm a big fan of Jodi Picoult. I've read a good few of her books (and I have plenty more in my "to read" pile). So I grabbed House Rules when I saw it in a bookshop a few days before our holiday. The central character has Asperger's Syndrome, and, as we know a few people whom we suspect of having Aspergers (some in my family - I won't name names!), I thought this would make for an excellent story.
Unfortunately, it didn't quite work for me. Jodi writes very well - it was a page turner (finished in 3 days). Her books often cover topical subjects (leukemia, date rape, bullying,...), but I feel that she normally works the subjects into her story, whereas in this book, she wrapped the story around the subject and didn't build enough layers or sub-plots to make it more interesting. At every page, I was assaulted by another description of what it means to have Asperger's. But I wasn't getting any closer to the people in the story -and I guessed the twist hundreds of pages earlier (and I'm not normally very quick about twists. The ending of "My Sister's Keeper" took me completely by surprise). And maybe it's one single/strong mother falling in love with a cop/lawyer too many. Maybe it's the pressure to write yet another bestseller, but I get the feeling she didn't put as much into this book. Read "Second Glance" for a good example of her multi-layered story-telling.
Anyways, I read it to the end, and so did Brendan (Ryanair luggage weight restrictions meant we only brought 2 books each, and we read each other's books), but I did leave it behind in the hotel - I couldn't risk going over the 15 kg per suitcase, and I really wanted to bring my Petit Marseillais shower gel, shampoo and conditioner home with me! Those are the choices we have to make in life! Next time, I'll check the reviews on Amazon before I buy.