Jacob Have I Loved
"Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated . . ." With her grandmother's taunt, Louise knew that she, like the biblical Esau, was the despised elder twin. Caroline, her selfish younger sister, was the one everyone loved.
Growing up on a tiny Chesapeake Bay island in the early 1940s, angry Louise reveals how Caroline robbed her of everything: her hopes for schooling, her fri...more
Popular Answered Questions
It is also embarrassing because it is cloying and whiney.
Louise (nicknamed Wheeze) slumps in the shadowed footsteps of her twin sister, Caroline. Caroline is very clever. Wheeze is not a sexy nickname. She totally eliminated the competition with that strategic strategy. The fam and Caroline, as well as their whole island, love everything about Caroline, a ...more
Also, I must say, I got a little wigged out when she hu ...more
To judge the book based on that is to completely miss the point of this novel.
No, Sara Louise isn't a pleasant heroine. She is eaten up with neglect, bitterness, jealousy, and it's difficult to tell whether she has more self-loathing or loathing for anything or anyone who isn't herself, at least for childhood through adolescence.
With that said, it is vitally important that ...more
It would have been harder to stay away and imagine what people were staying about me than to go and face them.
How could I face a lifetime of passive waiting?
For a moment is our sorrow. Joy forever in the sky.
But to fear is one thing. To let fear grab you by the tail and swing you around is another.
Annoyance drove out panic.
But I was not a generous person. I couldn’t afford to be. Call was my only friend. If I gave him up to the Captain, I’d have no one.
She would not fight with ...more
Recently I returned to the book, reading it for the first time as an adult. It was a completely different experience. It became a story about how we pe ...more
20+ years have ...more
I really don't understand why this received the Newberry. I read it because I felt I had missed something but now I wished I hadn't. Books tend to become part of your soul and this one gave (and continues to give) me the creeps! The most depressing story I've ever read in my life.
She finds peace, happiness and eventu ...more
The book does ...more
Jacob Have I Loved is a novel by Katherine Paterson that won the 1981 Newbery Medal.
The story takes place during the early 1940s on the small, fictional island of Rass in the Chesapeake Bay. Life on the island revolves around fundamentalist religion, seasonal fishing for crabs and oysters, and the often fulfilling lives of those who "follow the water." While the men lead rugged, dangerous lives, Paterson chooses to focus on the women of the island.
Jacob Have I Loved revolves around t ...more
1) Caroline, her twin sister. Sara Louise is unhappy because Caroline is so happy, so talented, so loved. The reason Sara Louise is unhappy is because Caroline was loved more than her, from birth.
2) Her parents and grandmother. They just don't love Sara Louise. They are ever trying to find ways to give Caroline more privliges, stealing what little Sara Louise has.
3) Call and the Captain. Both, in different ways, cast their ballot with Caroline, not Sara Louise. ...more
I am not saying every story needs to be wrapped up in clean white bows, I am saying that my 13 year old self was not prepared for the grossly overstated cruelty of life presented in this book.
I hate it.
That topic could be covered winningly with real humor, perspective or at least some dramatic progression but hardly anything significant happens to the central conflict in the book. Instead, it all kinda p ...more
I liked the writing style and the story and look forward to reading more Katherine Paterson. I can see why it w ...more
It isn’t often that you read a book as a teen and love it then come back to it as an adult and love it even more. This book is my own personal Catcher in the Rye. Louise gave my adolescent self a voice that I didn’t know I needed.
Synopsis ala Amazon: Louise has had enough of her twin sister. Caroline is beautiful. Caroline is talented. Caroline is better. Growing up on the small island of Rass i ...more
Tackling intriguing and even viscerally taboo subject matter, Katherine Paterson fleshes out a completely realized and deeply felt story of rivalry between sisters. It is a contentious relationship that will appeal not only to readers who have experienced similar family dynamics, but also to those of us who ha ...more
"Jacob have I loved but Esau have I hated."
This is the first "I'm-having-a-hard-time-putting-down" book I've had in a long time.
The story took me to a depression-hate-rage-fury-killer-instinct roller coaster ride.
I can feel Louise's despair, sadness, and lack of confidence, while her sister Caroline takes everything - and by everything I mean EVERY SINGLE GOOD THING - away from her. ( Just like how Jacob has taken everything away from Esau in the bible, hence the title and quote.)
I hate, ...more
The main character is plucky, smart, and hardworking, but she has shortcomings t ...more
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People are always asking me questions I don't have answers for. One is, "When did you first know that you wanted to become a writer?" The fact is that I never wanted to be a writer, at least not when I was a child, or even a young woman. Today I want very much to be a writer. But when I was ten, I wanted to be either a movie star or a missionary. When I was twenty, I wanted t ...more