William Landay’s Defending Jacob has captivated book clubs and readers for months now. If you and your book club are looking for a new read- look no more! We have the discussion questions from the exclusive RHRC Reader’s Guide to accompany your next discussion.
“Ingenious . . . Nothing is predictable. All bets are off.”—Janet Maslin, The New York Times
Questions and Topics for Discussion
1. How would you have handled this situation if you were Andy? Would you make the same choices he made? Where would you differ the most?
2. Before and during the trial, how would you have handled the situation if you were Laurie? Do you feel she made strong choices as a mother and a wife?
3. Is Andy a good father? Why or why not?
4. Do you believe Jacob is guilty?
5. Is Jacob a product of his upbringing? Do you think he is a violent person because his environment made him violent, or do you think he has had violent inclinations since birth?
6. How do you think people could or should stop adolescent bullying?
7. How much of a factor did Jacob’s age play into your sympathies for him or lack thereof? If Jacob were seventeen, would you view him differently? What about if he were nine?
8. Do you think Neal Logiudice acts ethically in this novel? What about Andy?
9. What is the most damning piece of evidence against Jacob? Is there anything that you felt exonerated him?
10. If Jacob hadn’t been accused, how do you think his life would have turned out? What kind of a man do you think he would grow up to be?