I recently shared with you how much I love my local library and, specifically, how much I love their e-book system! We were on vacation with some friends, and I needed a book to read poolside. I had my kindle with me, but all of my holds were still pending. I logged onto Overdrive to start browsing. I wanted a faster read: something that I could really dive into and potentially finish in a weekend. Luckily, Overdrive has a bunch of category suggestions. One of these happened to be “books similar to The Girl On The Train.” Now, The Girl On The Train has been on my “hold” list for months! I was intrigued. I read a couple summaries and decided to give one a try. My choice: Defending Jacob.
This book is considered a legal thriller, but I find that there is much more to the story than law and order. This book will tug on your heartstrings. And, now that I have a son of my own, I couldn’t help but imagine how I would handle such a situation. A lot of internal struggle resulted, and then, a lot of relief flooded in when I remembered that we are far away from that possibility. You see, the main character’s son is accused of a dreadful crime. The evidence is damning and the town starts to turn against the boy. What is a parent to do in this situation? What is more important: to protect one’s child or to bring justice? Does one trust his or her child unquestionably or does one rely on physical evidence alone? This book reminds us that there is more to every story than what appears on the surface. And, for every accused criminal, there is a parent at home wondering what he or she did wrong and if he or she is to blame. As I said, I experienced a lot of mom-guilt while reading this one. But, I could not put it down! Please, check out the e-book, find it the library, or buy it off amazon. Such a suspenseful read with such a deep lesson. This is much more than a who-done-it thriller.
As you can already see, I would totally recommend it.
I think I would put this on my list of re-reads in a couple years. I think the lesson can be toned down to apply to more school playground altercations to be applicable to all age children. As parents, we are often faced with a balancing act of protecting our children and teaching them to be self-sufficient in the ways of the world. What happens when a playmate points his finger at your child: do you automatically think your child did nothing wrong? Do you automatically think your child is evil? Or, do you first try to gather evidence as to how events actually occurred? A balancing act, for sure. You can find me answering “all of the above” on any given day! For me, the takeaway was more of a parental lesson rather than how to create the perfect child. Ultimately, we as parents are doing the best we can, and, at some point, our children will be required to take responsibility for their actions. I do think this book has more to teach me about not only trusting my child, but trusting myself that I am doing the best I can.
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