Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Defending Jacob by William Landay

               I was torn while reading this story. On one hand, I was absolutely riveted and couldn’t wait to find out what happened next. On the other hand, just knew what I was seeing was utterly disturbing and I just wanted to look away. Depending on where I was in the story, I couldn’t wait to get back to it, or I totally dreaded reading the next section.

               As a parent, the very thought of my child being arrested for murder makes me a little bit ill. How much worse it would be if the possibility existed my child could be guilty. This is the situation faced by the Barbers in this story.

               As a parent, how would I react if I realized that I had brought a monster into the world? How far would I go to protect my child? How much could I disregard the safety of those around us? This is the dilemma faced by the Barbers in this story.  I totally understand the very different reactions of both parents, and wonder which I would be more inclined to emulate.

               I’m giving this book a good rating even though it is not entertaining in the usual sense. It was a very uncomfortable book for me to read. But like watching a train hurtle toward a trestle rigged to blow, I could not look away.

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