Monday, September 15, 2014

Share Your Thoughts about our Latest Read: DEFENDING JACOB

What were your reactions to Defending Jacob by William Landay?

We will be discussing the book at our next meeting, Tuesday, October 14, at Noon, at DCLC, 2217 Providence Avenue, Chester PA 19013.

All are welcome.

Warning:  Comments may contain spoilers.


  1. This book is very well written and brings up many important issues facing modern society.

    Because it is a mystery, it had me hooked and reading so I could find out what truly happened.

    HOWEVER, I think the narrator and his flaws were the most compelling part of the story. The couple of twists at the end did not seem completely plausible. I was expecting Andy to be responsible for some act of violence based on his aggressive behavior in several scenes, but that never materialized.

    I wonder if anyone else felt that this character development ended up being anticlimactic (no good payoff), and the author instead tried to make a point about parenting a murderer that didn't flow logically from the threads of the story up to that point.

  2. I loved this book and the premise about parents being caught between believing in their children's innocence and the growing realization that children are capable of evil. I thought the violent gene theory was a bit much and not well developed. The narrator did seem to have some anger issues but they fizzled (in my opinion).
    While I was reading, I kept thinking about a woman I know who became mentally ill when she was around 14. I know her parents did seek help for her, but I wonder if there was an extended time when they kept wondering what was going on.
    I thought the ending was a bit much and did not really flow for me. Maybe if there had been more of her background developed which would have pointed to the fact that the mother could not bear living with all of this, but I did not really get that. The narrator's hints, "I should have..." were not enough for me to believe that she would kill herself and her son.
    Thanks for the suggestion; sorry I can't be there with you.

  3. I agree that the ending was implausible and anticlimatic. The only thought I had about the Mom was that if her husband had been honest from the beginning about his "inherited problem," she might have been more watchful from the beginning and counteracted any tendency toward violence or destructiveness.

    I think there's a REAL problem with lack of mental health care even though medical care is improving generally. Tipper Gore was going to make mental health care her first lady platform had Al Gore won the presidency.

    There seems to be an increased amount of violence, for example, road rage, in the country. We seem to all be lacking in the social graces. I hope that schools, starting in elementary school have made progress against bullying. Enjoyed the book. Miss you all. Michelle


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