My Beach Book Recommendation for Summer of 2014 – “Defending Jacob”

This book poses the question: “How far would you be willing to go to defend your child?”

And what a timely topic this is as parents face the question of how involved they should be in their children’s lives. Should I read their text messages? Insist they are my “friend” in social media? Do I need to check their school portal every day? Or never? And what if I find a weapon? Do I handle it myself or go to the police?

This book tackles the biggest of the big: our narrator, Andy Barber’s son is accused of murdering his classmate. And Andy is faced with a major conflict of interest since he is the District Attorney.

I am recommending this book as my beach read because it is a page turner AND a legal thriller. It has a very good story line that is exciting to follow and it will have many thought provoking questions for book groups to discuss.

The writing was also very high quality and it had great character development, especially of Jacob’s mother and Andy’s wife: Laurie. Throughout the book, Andy foreshadows that something happens to his wife. At one point Andy’s observes “She might have had an easier time of it, honestly, if she had not been so engaged. The stupid and belligerent have it easy in these situations; they simply stop thinking.”

Another interesting subject raised in this book is that parents of accused children are in a special hell of their own. Landay writes: “The parents of young defendants have been consigned to a peculiar purgatory in these trials. We were expected to be present but silent.”

There are also some excellent observations about parenting. My favorite was this: “at some point as adults we cease to be our parents’ children and we become our children’s parents instead.”

So if you are looking for a book that has good content but is also a page turner, pick this book up over the summer. And let me know what YOU thought of the ending.

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About Anne Loughrey

I am an avid member of several book clubs and a prolific keeper of my books. I love to discuss books and hear what others think of books I have read.
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