Favorite Quotes on Books and Reading

"A book is a gift you can open again and again." Garrison Keillor

Literature is a textually transmitted disease, normally contracted in childhood.” Jane Yolen

"It is what you read when you don't have to that determines what you will be when you can't help it." Oscar Wilde

"Books have furnished, burnished, and enabled my life." Julia Keller

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Book 32: DEFENDING JACOB Review


Defending Jacob by William Landay
ISBN: 9780385344227
Publication date: January 31, 2012
Publisher: Delacorte Press


Andy Barber has been an assistant district attorney in his suburban Massachusetts county for more than twenty years. He is respected in his community, tenacious in the courtroom, and happy at home with his wife, Laurie, and son, Jacob. But when a shocking crime shatters their New England town, Andy is blindsided by what happens next: His fourteen-year-old son is charged with the murder of a fellow student. Every parental instinct Andy has rallies to protect his boy. Jacob insists that he is innocent, and Andy believes him. Andy must. He’s his father. But as damning facts and shocking revelations surface, as a marriage threatens to crumble and the trial intensifies, as the crisis reveals how little a father knows about his son, Andy will face a trial of his own—between loyalty and justice, between truth and allegation, between a past he’s tried to bury and a future he cannot conceive. 

Everyone has secrets, but some secrets can be devastating. Andy has kept a secret from his wife and colleagues for more than thirty years, but he knows he has to come clean once his son is considered a suspect in another student's murder.

Parents are often willing to do anything to protect their children, even if it means protecting them from the law. Andy Barber doesn't intend to circumvent the law, as he has spent the majority of his adult life upholding the law as an assistant district attorney. But Andy knows that his family background may play a larger role than anyone expects. Andy's father and grandfather were career criminals and both were accused and convicted of murder. Andy had told Laurie that his father was dead; now that she knows the truth about his heritage she is shocked that he misled her all these years. The shock of Andy's lineage coupled with Jacob's arrest and the impending trial might be too much. As the family prepares for the trial, Andy does several things that may be construed as obstruction of justice but he simply views his actions as protecting his child. Even after the family begins counseling and Laurie discloses problems with Jacob's behavior as a child, Andy remains in denial about their son. Is it possible that Jacob has behavioral problems bordering on sociopathy like his grandfather and great-grandfather? 

Defending Jacob is a tense legal, suspense thriller filled with drama centering on one parent's inability to accept the possible truth about their child. Laurie knows that Jacob isn't like the other kids and she fears that she may have done something to cause his behavioral problems. Laurie is willing to do whatever is necessary to get Jacob the help he needs from a psychological perspective. Andy is willing to do whatever is necessary to get Jacob the legal help he needs to be acquitted. Both parents are "defending" their son in the only way they can, yet neither can fully accept nor understand the other parents’ point of view. Mr. Landay has provided a story that doesn't disappoint from beginning to end.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book free for review purposes from the publisher. I was not paid, required or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."



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