House Rules: A Novel Download at BG08QM. bestselling author Jodi Picoult about a young boy with autism falsely accused of murder. House Rules. When your son can't look you in the eye does that mean he's guilty? Jacob Hunt is a teen with Asperger's Syndrome. He's hopeless at reading . House Rules. 1. 'My mother will tell you Jacob's not violent, but I am living proof that she's kidding herself' (p). 2. As with many of Jodi Picoult's previous.
|Language:||English, Spanish, Hindi|
|ePub File Size:||24.45 MB|
|PDF File Size:||15.10 MB|
|Distribution:||Free* [*Sign up for free]|
House Rules. Home · House Rules Author: Jodi Picoult. 63 downloads Views KB Size Report. DOWNLOAD EPUB · House Rules · Read more. When a teenage boy with Asperger's is arrested for murder, his family face a daunting task to prove his innocence. 'Picoult has become a master - almost a clairvoyant - at targeting hot issues and writing highly readable page-turners about them Jodi Picoult (Author). portal7.info · Home».
The astonishing new novel from 1 New York Times bestselling author Jodi Picoult about a family torn apart by an accusation of murder. Emotionally powerful from beginning to end, House Rules looks at what it means to be different in our society, how autism affects a family, and how our legal system works well for people who communicate a certain way — and fails those who don't. Jacob Hunt is a teenage boy with Asperger's syndrome. He's hopeless at reading social cues or expressing himself well to others, and like many kids with AS, Jacob has a special focus on one subject — in his case, forensic analysis. He's always showing up at crime scenes, thanks to the police scanner he keeps in his room, and telling the cops what they need to do…and he's usually right.
It is impossible not to be held spellbound by the way she forces us to think, hard, about right and wrong. He's hopeless at reading social cues or expressing himself to others, and like many children with Asperger's, Jacob has an obsessive focus on one subject - in his case, forensic analysis.
He's always showing up at crime scenes, thanks to the police scanner he keeps in his room, and telling the cops what they need to do - and he's usually right. But then one day his tutor is found dead, and the police come to question him. Reluctance to make eye contact, stimulatory tics and twitches, inappropriate gestures, all these can look a lot like guilt.
Suddenly, Jacob finds himself accused of murder. House Rules looks at what it means to be different in our society, and at the extremes of love and loyalty a family must call upon to help each other overcome impossible circumstances. I want you back. But I had already noticed how, with the behavioral therapy and speech therapy, Jacob had begun to communicate again.
I could see the improvement. The night Henry left, Jacob and I sat at the kitchen table and played a game. I made a face and he would try to guess which emotion went with it. I smiled, even though I was crying, and waited for Jacob to tell me I was happy.
Henry lives with his new family in the Silicon Valley. He works for Apple and he rarely speaks to the boys, although he sends a check faithfully every month for child support.
But then again, Henry was always good with organization. And numbers. Saturdays, Jacob and I go food shopping. By the time I grab my coat and purse, Jacob is already sitting in the back seat. He likes it there, because he can spread out. In the rear view mirror, I see him press his thumb against the car window. I pull into the parking lot. I can feel him draw in his breath and hold it until we drive past. We get out of the car and Jacob runs for a cart; then we walk inside.
The spot that the Free Sample Lady usually occupies is empty. She comes at 11 and leaves at I glance around the store, mentally calculating whether it would cause more of a scene to try to get Jacob out of here before the stimming turns into a full-blown breakdown; or whether I can talk him through this. This is the same thing. Pinham came back, right? And everything went back to normal. Jacob looks like a totally normal young man.
But having his day disrupted probably makes him feel the same way I would, if I was suddenly told to bungee off the top of the Sears tower. He backs away from me, into a shelf full of pickle jars and relishes. A few bottles fall to the floor, and the breaking glass sends him over the edge.
Suddenly Jacob is screaming — one high, keening note that is the soundtrack of my life. He moves blindly, striking out at me when I reach for him.
I press my lips close to his ear. There were times I swear I played that song twenty-four hours a day just to keep him calm; even Theo knew all the verses before he was three. A single tear streaks from the corner of his eye. Jacob sits up, too, and hugs his knees to his chest. A crowd has gathered around us. In addition to the carrot man, the manager of the store, several shoppers, and two twin girls with matching constellations of freckles on their cheeks are all staring down at Jacob with that curious mix of horror and pity that follows us like a dog nipping at our heels.
The two little girls dart down the dairy aisle. The carrot man and the manager do not make eye contact, and that suits me just fine. Jacob shuffles along behind me as I push the cart. Theo I have twenty-four stitches on my face, thanks to my brother.
Ten of them cut through my left eyebrow, thanks to the time that Jacob knocked over my high chair when I was eight months old. The other fourteen are on my chin, from Christmas , when I got so excited about some stupid gift that I crumpled the wrapping paper, and Jacob went ballistic at the sound.
So when we need to take a detour away from a detour sign how ironic is that? Once, when Jacob and I were little, we were playing in a pond near our house with an inflatable boat.
It was my job to watch Jacob, even though he was three years older than I am and has had just as many swimming lessons as I have. We overturned the boat and swam up underneath it, where the air was heavy and wet.
Jacob started yapping nonstop and I began to panic. Like when I went into his closet and mixed up all his clothes out of order. There are times I hear her crying, when she thinks Jacob and I are asleep. So I run interference. It was that when I saw Jacob in the kitchen with his corn-syrup blood and his fake head injury and all the evidence pointing to me, for a half a second, I thought: I wish.
So I grab my coat and head south, although it is twenty degrees outside and the wind feels like knives on my face. His friend is holding a cell phone, recording the trick. I take AP everything and I have a 3. Of course, that makes me a freak to the skating crowd, just like the way I dress and the fact that I like to skate make me a freak to the honors crowd. I bypass the skate park and head through town, to this one street that curls like a snail. In the very center is a gingerbread house — I guess you call them Victorians.
Usually I crouch down in front of the bay window that looks into the living room. I can see pretty much everything from in there — the dining room table, where the kids do their homework.
The kitchen, where the mom cooks dinner. This afternoon, though, nobody is home. That makes me feel cocky. I twist the chains around and then let them untangle, even though I am way too old for this kind of stuff. Then I walk up to back porch and try the door. It opens. But all the same, I go inside. I leave them on a mat in the mudroom and walk into the kitchen. There are cereal bowls in the sink. I open the fridge and look at the stacked Tupperware.
I take out a jar of peanut butter and sniff inside. Is it just my imagination, or does it smell better than the Jif we have at our house? I stick my finger inside and take a taste. I take two slices of bread from the loaf on the counter and rummage in the drawers till I find the silverware. In the dining room, I sit down in the chair that the girl always sits in for meals. I eat my sandwich and picture my mother coming out of the kitchen, carrying a big roast turkey on a platter.
I shake my head, clearing it. Jacob used to read to me at night. Well, not really. I liked it, though. I remember hearing the story about Goldilocks and the Three Bears and thinking she was such a loser. Last year, when I was a freshman at the regional high school, I got to start over.
There were kids from other towns who knew nothing about me. If you use the small particle reagent first, like they did in the episode, it would ruin the porous surface for the ninhydrin procedure. When I spotted the error, I wrote to the producers of CrimeBusters. They sent me back a letter and an officially licensed t-shirt.
She sits down beside me on the couch. Our legs are touching. She is the only person I can stand having close to me. If it were anyone else, I would have moved away a few inches by now.
If I did, surely they would die on the spot from the contempt shooting out of mine. Of course I survived. But at what cost? My mother sighs. Here is just a sampling:. I am ninety-nine percent sure not a single one of them had a meltdown in a grocery store and wound up breaking a whole shelf of relish and pickle jars.
Dinner proves to be a painful affair. My mother seems driven to start a conversation, although neither Theo nor I are inclined to hold up the other end of it. She has just gotten another packet of letters from the Burlington Free Press and sometimes she reads them out loud at dinner and we make up politically incorrect responses that my mother would never in a million years write in her advice column.
My mother-in-law insists on cooking roast beef every time my husband and I come to visit, even though she knows that I am a lifelong vegetarian. What should I do next time it happens? Mostly, though, the questions come from a bunch of idiots who made bad choices. Try being faithful in the first place, lady. Tonight she holds up a note from a teenage girl.
Do you think I should say yes? Sincerely, Burlington Buddy. Theo rolls his eyes. Theo pushes back from the table and stands up in one smooth move.
I have thousands. And off goes my mother, champion of the confused, doyenne of the dense. Saving the world one letter at a time. I wonder what all those devoted readers would think if they knew that the real Auntie Em had one son who was practically a sociopath and another one who was socially impractical.
For my birthday last year my mother bought me the most incredible gift ever: It operates by receiving frequencies that regular radios cannot — ones assigned by the Federal Government in the VHF and UHF range above the FM stations that are used by police, fire, and rescue crews. But mostly I listen to the police and emergency calls, because even in a place as small as Townsend you get a crime scene every now and then.
Since Thanksgiving alone, I have gone to two crime scenes. The first was a break-in at a jewelry store. I rode my bike to the address I heard at the scanner and found several officers swarming the storefront for evidence. It was the first time I got to see the spray wax used for taking a footprint cast on snow, a definite highlight. The second crime scene was not really a crime scene. It was the house of a kid who goes to my school, who is a real jerk to me. Then I tiptoe downstairs. The wheels of my mountain bike skid every time I go around a turn.
The address is a state highway, and I know I have reached the right spot because there are four police cars with their flashing blues on. There is a wooden stake with police tape yellow, not orange fluttering in the wind, and a very visible trail of footprints. An abandoned car, a Pontiac, sits on the side of the road covered in ice and snow. I take out my notebook and write: Vehicle has been abandoned for at least twelve hours, pre-storm.
I duck into the edge of the woods as another police car arrives. This one is unmarked and ordinary, except for the domed police light magnetically affixed to the top. The man who gets out of it is tall and has red hair. He is wearing a black overcoat and heavy boots. On one of his hands, he has a Dora The Explorer Band-aid.
I follow them into the woods, careful to stay in the shadows. There are searchlights illuminating the area around the body, so that the evidence can be fully recorded. The dead man is lying on his back. His eyes are open. His pants are gathered around his ankles, but he is still wearing his underwear. The knuckles of his hands are bright red with blood, as are the bottoms of his palms, and his knees and calves.
All around him, the snow is pink. He kneels down and snaps on a pair of rubber gloves that he takes from his pocket. He examines the body up close. I hear two more sets of footsteps and another man steps into the pool of light, escorted by a uniformed officer. The uniformed officer takes one look at the dead guy, goes totally pale, and throws up. You think he got sexually assaulted and then committed hara-kiri? I look down at the list in my notebook. What would Dr. Henry Lee do?
I stomp my frozen feet in their sneakers. I have the best intentions, but something always gets in the way.
Today, for example, I was determined to build an ice rink in the backyard for Sasha, my seven-year-old. She falls asleep on the car ride home while I am still singing along to Hanna Montana songs on her CD, and I carry her upstairs to her bedroom. During the settlement, I got the house, but Hannah got nearly everything inside it. She stirs a little while I get her undressed and into her nightgown, but then she sighs and curls on her side beneath the covers.
For a minute, I just stare at her. Most of the time, being the only detective in a one-horse town is a losing battle. I get paid crap; I investigate cases that are too dull to even make the police log in the local paper. Downstairs, I grab a flashlight and head out to the aborted ice rink. I turn on the hose. If I stay up for a few more hours, maybe there will be enough water in the tarp to freeze overnight.
Back inside, I open the fridge and grab a bottle of Sam Adams. Although most guys turn to the stocks or sports page, I always go for the entertainment section, because of the column in the back. There are two things I like about this column: Auntie Em is forever coming up with the most practical solutions, as if the key to most of the great riddles of existence involve surgically cutting away the emotional component and looking at just the facts.
Should I tell him? Get a grip, Rich , I tell myself silently. He gives me the address of a state highway, near a stretch of conservation land.
I sit down on the edge of her bed and gently shake her out of sleep.
She babysat Sasha back when Hannah and I were together, and nowadays when Sasha is staying with me and I get an unexpected call. She does, actually. I need you to get moving. I set Sasha down inside the threshold. Whitbury, and I turn to leave, already mentally mapping out the fastest route to the crime scene. We came up with a ritual that somehow, along the way, turned into a good luck charm.
Then we press our thumbs together. Dear Auntie Em, I think. I had to second-mortgage my house to pay my water bill. What should I do? Urqhart meets me as I am checking out the abandoned vehicle, a Pontiac.
I brush off a bit of snow from the window and peer inside with a flashlight to see a backseat full of empty gin bottles. I start to follow him along a marked trail. The victim is half-dressed and frozen.
His pants are pooled around his ankles. Or the defense wounds on the hands? The blood is on his knuckles and knees, not his wrists. Suddenly a teenage boy steps out of the edge of the woods. Get lost, kid. No one could figure out what a naked guy was doing on top of a mountain, but it turned out to be hypothermia. The same thing happened to this man. He became disoriented and fell down. Urqhart frowns. Look at the wounds. He fell down and he scraped himself up.
The blood on the snow came from him crawling around before he lost consciousness. I look at Jacob carefully. If that were the case, there would be hundreds of elementary school children exsanguinating at recess during the winters in Vermont.
I kick at the ground beneath my boots and shake my head. That poor, drunk bastard had the misfortune to fall down in a field of brambles. Before I can say anything else, the regional medical examiner arrives. He considers this, carefully rolling the victim forward and examining the back of his head.
It certainly would fit the bill. I run all the way home, even though I hate running. I plan to draw pictures, using colored pencils and scaled maps. I slip into the house through the garage and I am just taking off my boots when the door opens behind me again.
I have never been a very good liar. And that makes me angry because right now I want to keep it all to myself instead of sharing it. I tuck my notebook into the back of my pants and pull my sweater down over it and then cross my hands behind my back to hide it. I will have to remember all that, the next time I set up a crime scene. I could use food coloring in water, and spray it on the snow outside.
Although I am not too keen on lying in the snow in my underwear, I am willing to make the sacrifice for a scenario that will totally stump my mother. I am still humming under my breath when I get to my room. I take off my clothes and put on my pajamas. I take out a fresh spiral notebook and begin to sketch the crime scene.
Although there are many overlaps with other autistic conditions, people with AS generally have fewer problems with speaking, fewer learning disabilities associated with autism, and are often of average, or above average, intelligence. The Way I See It: Look Me in the Eye: Born on a Blue Day by Daniel Tammet. National Autism Association. Schafer Autism Report - subscription required. The Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation - develops, advocates and funds programs for adolescents and adults with autism spectrum disorders.
Toggle navigation. Read an excerpt. The Story Behind House Rules. About House Rules. And over this small family, the soul-searing question looms: Did Jacob commit murder? A conversation with Jodi about House Rules. Book club discussion questions for House Rules. Why do you think Picoult favours this narrative device, considering the nature of her stories?
Is it a successful technique? What does it tell us about Emma and her personality?
Do you see his logic? We all have things we could put into such a list. What would yours be? The rules of the house are listed on page Do they seem appropriate or unusual? Would they be rules that would work in your house?
Why should a rule that works in one situation not work in another? Theo is the younger brother but he has to take care of Jacob. How does Theo handle the conflict of his position in the family? Do you know someone who has been diagnosed with AS? Have you read any other books that deal with autism as a theme, or that depict autistic characters?
How does House Rules compare? Does autism make good subject material and, if so, why? What challenges does AS pose in the telling of a story? How well does Jodi Picoult deal with those challenges? Theo breaks into houses and Jacob saves the Christmas cards.
Both boys are trying to have the same thing—what they consider to be a real home. What do they want? What do you think he means by that? The evidence points to Mark as a suspect. What does Emma see on the news that changes everything? How would you react?