This story by William Landay is about a family on a journey of discovery about themselves and each other when their 14-year old son is accused of the murder of his classmate.
On the day their son is charged, Andy Barber advises his wife of a secret of which he is deeply ashamed – a family pedigree that no one would aspire to. Laura reacts badly to this long held information. She is dealing with a whirlwind of emotions and unable to comprehend what is happening to her family.
Laura begins to question her husband’s motivations and Andy tries to bring her back in line with everything being about Jacob not about him or his background. He has faith in his son and does not question his innocence. Why is Laura second guessing every action from Jacob’s early days until the now?
There is a bit of endless angst that could be shortened, but this is a minor complaint. Working back and forth between grand jury testimony and the trial you begin to feel the impact of what these parents are going through. The final pages of this book are finely crafted, resolute and tragic.
4 responses to “Defending Jacob”
Oh wow. That sounds really nice. Thank you for sharing.
Give it a try Lady Lillith and let Barbara and me know what you think of it.
Thanks for commenting!
Coincidentally, I just finished this fine, fine piece. It is far more than legal fiction. It is a powerful and multilevel portrayal, perhaps even analysis, of the complex relationship between individual citizens and their legal system and among family members who firmly believe they know one another. I put this one in the “must read” category. I’ll be surprised if you can put it down.
Very astute observations Barbara, it is a compelling, modern narrative.
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