Defending Jacob by William Landay

Andy Barber has been an assistant district attorney for two decades. He is respected. Admired in the courtroom. Happy at home with the loves of his life, his wife, Laurie, and teenage son, Jacob.

Then Andy’s quiet suburb is stunned by a shocking crime: a young boy stabbed to death in a leafy park. And an even greater shock: The accused is Andy’s own son—shy, awkward, mysterious Jacob.

Andy believes in Jacob’s innocence. Any parent would. But the pressure mounts. Damning evidence. Doubt. A faltering marriage. The neighbors’ contempt. A murder trial that threatens to obliterate Andy’s family.

It is the ultimate test for any parent: How far would you go to protect your child? It is a test of devotion. A test of how well a parent can know a child. For Andy Barber, a man with an iron will and a dark secret, it is a test of guilt and innocence in the deepest sense.

How far would you go?

“Ingenious . . . Nothing is predictable. All bets are off.”—The New York Times

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  • Andy


    October 21

  • Christine

    Mixed feelings about the book but I loved the discussion. I love this diverse group and appreciate everyone's time!

    1 · October 21

  • Nancy H.

    I know that sometimes I talk too much, but I am so enthusiastic when talking with this group -- and Christine does do a great job of making sure everyone is "forced" to participates -- so its so fun to hear others ideas and points of view.

    October 16

  • David S.

    Great meeting with good discussion. Christine "made" everyone comment. Fun.

    October 15

  • Cathy W.

    Excellent discussion as always with this superior book club. I always enjoy the varied views on the book with this enthusiastic and responsive group. Great atmosphere for sharing! Always learn something new from the discussion.

    2 · October 15

  • Susan G.

    Good choice for a book club book. I enjoyed the book and discussion.

    1 · October 14

  • Suzee

    Sorry to miss! work has been consuming:(. I found it interesting really pulled you in as the true character of Jacob was revealed. I liked the approach the author took in how we got to know Jacob, not directly from Jacob but based on those around him. I could believe Jacob was innocent until their vacation. Yikes!!! Enjoy everyone!

    2 · October 14

  • Nancy H.

    While I didn't think it was a great "book" I was consumed by the psychology -- some parents (and not just Jacob's father) are incapable of admitting that their child isn't perfect -- and may even be a monster. I can see why it must have been so confounding and confusing to have been the wife/mother in this situation. It reminds me of Adam Lanza who shot the kids at Sandy Hook Elementary School. At least she knew her child had problems (and she too also paid the price) -- its not as if she "survived" and goes through life thinking that in the seconds before he died that he was thinking only of how much he loved his Mom!

    1 · October 14

  • Laneda

    I didn't like it either, Jimmy . You'd have to pay me a lot of money to re-read it. I see that "the Age of Miracles" was one of the rejects. I'm reading it for another book club and I liked "Defending Jacob" a lot better. However, the really great books I have read since joining this group make it VERY VERY worthwhile.

    October 14

  • Jimmy B.

    um, i kinda hated this book. i re-read it over the weekend to see if i missed something but it just felt very flat for me. can i still attend the meeting?

    September 30

    • Kathy

      Hi! I, for one, hope you do attend! I want to know why you hated a book I (and most others) really liked.

      September 30

    • Christine

      Yes for sure attend!! I was good those first few and well... I'll let u know the rest when we get there . But yes jimmy please attend!

      September 30

  • Tiff D.

    Breezed through it! Great book

    September 20

  • Christine

    Two hundred pages in and I'm so stressed and hungry for the rest of the story!!!

    1 · September 20

  • Nancy H.

    a great book to discuss for a a whole host of reasons!

    September 9, 2013

  • Kathy

    Read this quite a while ago. It is a real page turner! I'll have to brush up.

    August 14, 2013

  • Lauren Vander L.

    Great choice! This is a very good book.

    August 14, 2013

  • Christine

    The 'rejects' were:
    A Visit From the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan & The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker.

    August 14, 2013

  • Lisa

    Amazing book!

    August 14, 2013

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