Reading guide for Defending Jacob by William Landay

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Defending Jacob

A Novel

by William Landay

Defending Jacob
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  • First Published:
    Jan 2012, 432 pages
    Feb 2013, 496 pages

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Reading Guide Questions Print Excerpt

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!

  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 he a violent person because his environment makes him violent, or do you think he has violent inclinations since birth?

  6. Bullying is such a hot topic in today's media. How did the author incorporate it into the story, and do you think it's role had anything to do with Jacob's disposition? How do you think people 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 nine?

  8. Do you think Neal Logiudice acts ethically in this novel? What about Andy? What about Laurie?

  9. What was the most damning piece of evidence against Jacob? Was 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?

Unless otherwise stated, this discussion guide is reprinted with the permission of Dell. Any page references refer to a USA edition of the book, usually the trade paperback version, and may vary in other editions.

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Beyond the Book:
  Courtroom Drama

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