Jay's Reviews > Defending Jacob

Defending Jacob by William Landay
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's review
Jul 16, 2012

really liked it
Read in July, 2012

I'll admit that the beginning of this book didn't grab me as much as I hoped it would. Jen kept telling me I should read it--that I'd like it, and I had a couple of false starts where I read a few pages here and there.

I feel that the exposition of this novel is a little heavy--maybe a tad verbose. Don't get me wrong, all the storylines become important down the road, but overall I didn't get hooked in as quickly as I normally do with courtroom novels. I still think back to Grisham's "A Time to Kill", and how I thumbed through 100 pages of a friend's copy while at the diner, and then had to make a midnight run to a 24-hour drugstore for my own copy.

Once I did give it my full attention, however, the pages began to really fly by. Landay's prose is both attractive and enjoyable--He's easy to read.

The story is heartbreaking. As a father, I found myself very sympathetic to Andy & Laurie's situation. I identified with that feeling of helplessness which comes with slowly letting the kite string out, thereby allowing more freedom and independence for your child. And never being able to forget how he began--a small, defenseless, and utterly-dependant vulnerable child.

I remember seeing one of those shows on cable TV one night where the cameras show hardened criminals behind bars. One guy--an admitted murderer--laughed at the camera as he pointed out that every one of those criminals started out as a little baby in their mom's arms, and that mom never imagined the monsters they'd become. This novel explores that same question.

Kudos, Mr. Landay. I'm excited to read your other novels now.

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