Book Review: Defending Jacob by William Landay

How far do you go to protect your child? Are you capable of truly seeing your child as they are? Does that make you a good parent or a bad one? Does a rotten egg mean you did something wrong? Who should be punished?

All these questions and more kept running through my mind as I quickly and obsessively read this novel by William Landay.

Defending Jacob is a beautifully written quasai-suspense/ quasai-murder mystery novel with lots of heart poured into every page. In fact, when I first started reading it – and when my mom told me about it during her visit for Rosh Hashana – I wasn’t sure if it was a true story or not!

Set in one of Boston’s elite bedroom communities, this book is told from the point of view of the father; an Asst. District Attorney, and the father of a 14-year-old boy on trial for murder.

Mixing testimonial transcripts from the trial and his own thoughts, we struggle along side Andy Barber as he tries to do what’s necessary to defend his son. We experience the impact that such an event has on a family. And we watch as he and his wife, once united in all things, unravel.

I don’t want to give away too much of the book, but I will say this: it doesn’t end as you think it will; and every page from the very FIRST will keep you on edge. A challenging read, it’s not; but if you really want to think about it when finished, its messages do challenge you in a “what would you do?” kind of way.

So, I guess I pose this to you, my friends: What would you do? How would you respond? Who would you blame? How would you make it better?

Rachael’s Grade:

Writing:  B+

Character Development: A-

Plot: A


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5 Responses to Book Review: Defending Jacob by William Landay

  1. Kat says:

    Thanks for the tag! I’ve been looking for more review blogs to read that are all YA books, so this is delightful! 🙂

  2. Kat says:

    Oh crap…I meant to say that AREN’T all YA…lol…it’s not a genre I read a whole lot (unless it’s really, really, really good like Harry Potter or the Hunger Games). That’s why I was happy. 🙂

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