I love to read! Today is one of those perfect reading days. It is really dumping snow here in Ohio this morning and I am cozy and warm in the house with my coffee. Getting ready to start a new book. Haven’t decided which one yet. So many books, so little time! When I start a new book I like to have several to choose from. Many times my mood will determine what type of book I want to read. I am definitely a “one book at a time person.” I have tried reading a couple at the same time, but it didn’t work very well.
My favorites are the ones where you are so absorbed in the book that you forget where you are and what time it is You look up to find the world is still going on around you, and for a little while you left and went inside the book. Love these! And then, when you finish the book, there is a sadness because it is over. You are no longer a part of the characters, the story, the family, or the place. When it truly is an amazing book, that really moved you, there is a loss when it is finished.
I just finished one such book this past weekend! Defending Jacob, by William Landay, was one of these moving books for me. It transported me from my life into the lives of the Barber family, Andy, Laurie, and Jacob.
There is a little bit of a fear factor as you read this story line because it is one of those situations that you could actually see your family getting into. It has a very real factor to it. This could actually happen to you!
Andy Barber is an assistant district attorney and is married to Laurie and they have one son Jacob. They are living their perfect little life in suburban America when the unthinkable happens. A classmate of Jacob’s is stabbed to death on the way to school. As scary and awful as this is, it doesn’t begin to compare to what is about to rock this family. Jacob gets accused of the murder! This family is never the same again!
For me, this is when it began to become real. Your son or daughter is at the wrong place at the wrong time and they get accused of murder. Think about it….what do you do? what do you say? Can u truly imagine what it would be like? I can’t! But it could actually happen and that is what brought this story alive for me. Something so far out of the realm of possibility and yet here it is! You are forced to deal with it because you have no other choice.
You follow along as their world falls apart. The financial, emotional, and physical impacts of this accusation rip through this family and there is nothing they can do about it. You follow them as they go through a murder trial. You watch them try to support their son through this unimaginable horror, all the while trying to keep their own lives together. Friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers pull away and want nothing to do with them and their situation. They truly are alone in this. They only have each other to lean on to get through this ordeal.
This is truly the ultimate test for any parent! Do you believe in your child’s innocence without question? Should you try remembering if they had any unusual behaviors recently? Do you actually come out and ask them if they did this hideous crime? Or do you show your love and support by not asking the tough questions and just assume they are innocent? What is the right thing to do in this situation? As the story unfolds, you learn just how hard these questions are as Andy and Laurie try to figure out the best way to answer them.
I can’t recommend this book enough! I am one of those people that when I finish a really great book, I want to share it with anyone and everyone. And…I want them to enjoy it as much as I did! But in all seriousness, I really do hope you put this one on your reading list. Who knows, it may become one of your favorites. There are discussion questions at the back of the book, so it is perfect for a book club read. This truly should spark some great conversation during book club.
If you have read this book or read it in the future, I would love to know what you think about it. Also, I am always looking for recommendations of great reads, so please tell me your favorites.
Have a great day and happy reading! I can’t think of a better way to spend this snowy morning, can you?