Jacob Have I Loved

Jacob Have I Loved

3.9 156
by Katherine Paterson
     
 

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The remarkable Newbery-winning classic about a painful sibling rivalry, and one sister’s struggle to make her own way.  

"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

Overview

The remarkable Newbery-winning classic about a painful sibling rivalry, and one sister’s struggle to make her own way.  

"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 friends, her mother, even her name. While everyone pampered Caroline, Wheeze (her sister's name for her) began to learn the ways of the watermen and the secrets of the island, especially of old Captain Wallace, who had mysteriously returned after fifty years. The war unexpectedly gave this independent girl a chance to fulfill her childish dream to work as a watermen alongside her father. But the dream did not satisfy the woman she was becoming. Alone and unsure, Louise began to fight her way to a place where Caroline could not reach.

Renowned author Katherine Paterson here chooses a little-known area off the Maryland shore as her setting for a fresh telling of the ancient story of an elder twin's lost birthright.

Editorial Reviews

New York Times Book Review
A novel of special brilliance.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061975196
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
10/06/2009
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
272
Sales rank:
8,481
Lexile:
880L (what's this?)
File size:
448 KB
Age Range:
13 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

Jacob Have I Loved SNYChapter One

During the summer of 1941, every weekday morning at the top of the tide, McCall Purnell and I would board my skiff and go progging for crab. Call and I were right smart crabbers, and we couldalways come home with a little money as well as plenty of crab for. supper. Call was a year older than I and would never have gone crabbing with a girl except that his father was dead, so he had no man to take him on board a regular crab boat. He was, as well, a boy who had matured slowly, and being fat and nearsighted, he was dismissed by most of the island boys.

Call and I made quite a pair. At thirteen I was tall and large boned, with delusions of beauty and romance. He, at fourteen,. was pudgy, bespectacled, and totally unsentimental.

"Call, I would say, watching dawn break crimson over the Chesapeake Bay, "I hope I have a sky like this the day I get married."

"Who would marry you?" Call would ask, not meanly, just facing facts.

"Oh," I said one day, "I haven't met him yet."

"Then you ain't likely to. This is a right small island."

"It won't be an islander."

"Mr. Rice has him a girl friend in Baltimore."

I sighed. All the girls on Rass Island were half in love with Mr. Rice, one of our two high school teachers. He was the only relatively unattached man most of us had ever known. But Mr., Rice had let it get around that his heart was given to a lady from Baltimore.

"Do you suppose," I asked, as I poled the skiff, the focus of my romantic musings shifting from my own wedding day to Mr. Rice's, "do you suppose her parents oppose the marriage?"

"Why should they care?" Call, standing on the portwashboard, had sighted the head of what seemed to be a large sea terrapin and was fixing on it a fierce concentration.

I shifted the pole to starboard . We could get a pretty little price for a terrapin. of that size. The terrapin sensed the change in our direction and dove straight through the eelgrass into the bottom mud, but: Call "had the net waiting, so that when the old bull hit his hiding place, he was yanked to the surface and deposited into a waiting pail. Call grunted with satisfaction. We might make as much as fifty cents on that one catch, ten times the price of a soft blue crab. got some mysterious illness and doesn't want to be a burden to him."

"Who?"

"Mr. Rice's finance." I had picked up the word, but not the pronunciation from my reading. It was not in the spoken vocabulary of most islanders.

"His what?"

"The woman he's engaged to marry, stupid."

"How come you think she's sick?"

"Something is delaying the consumption of their union."

Jerked his head around to give me one of his looks, but the washboards of a skiff are a precarious perat best, so he didn't stare long enough to waste time or risk a dunking. He left me to what he presumed to be my looniness and gave his attention to the eelgrass. We were a good team on the water. I could pole a skiff quickly and quietly, and nearsighted as he was he could spy a crab by just a tip of the claw through grass and muck. He rarely missed one, and he knew I wouldn't jerk or swerve at the wrong moment. I'm sure that's why he stuck with me. I stuck with him not only because we could work well together, but because our teamwork was so automatic that I was free to indulge my romantic fantasies at the same time. That this part of my nature was wasted on Call didn't matter. He didn'thave any friends but me, so he wasn't likely to repeat what I said to someone who might snicker. Call himself never laughed.

I thought of it as a defect in his character that I must try to correct, so I told him jokes. "Do you know why radio announcers have tiny hands?"

"Huh?"

"Wee paws for station identification," I would whoop.

"Yeah?"

"Don't you get it, Call? Wee paws. Wee Paws." I let go the pole to shake my right hand at him. "You know, little hands-paws."

"You ain't never seen one."

"One What?"

"One radio announcer."

"No."

"Then how do you know how big their hands are?"

"I don't. It's a joke, Call."

"I don't see how it can be a joke if you don't even know if they have big hands or little hands. Suppose they really have big hands. Then you ain't even telling the truth. Then what happens to your joke?"

It's just a joke, Call. It doesn't matter whether it's true or not."

"It matters to me. Why should a person think a"

"Never mind, Call. It doesn't matter."

But he went on, mumbling like a little old preacher about the importance of truth and how you couldn't trust radio announcers anymore.

You'd think I'd give up, but I didn't.

"Call, did you hear about the lawyer, the dentist, and the p-sychiatrist who died and went to heaven?"

"Was it a airplane crash."

"No, Call. It's a joke...

Jacob Have I Loved SNY. Copyright © by Katherine Paterson. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Meet the Author

Katherine Paterson has twice won the Newbery Medal, for her young adult novels Jacob Have I Loved and Bridge to Terabithia, as well as the National Book Award, for both The Master Puppeteer and The Great Gilly Hopkins. She received the Hans Christian Andersen Award for the body of her work, and was National Ambassador for Young People's Literature. Mrs. Paterson lives in Vermont.

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Jacob Have I Loved 3.9 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 156 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This story is a bittersweet tale of persistence and patience in a time of despair. Sara Louise Bradshaw portrays a girl who never quite got what she deserved. She was a hard worker, obedient daughter, and benevolent friend. But her sister takes all the glory with her melodic voice and charming disposition. Throughout her life, Sara lived in the shadow of her younger sister. The book's plot revolves around Sara and her struggle to become her own person. The end result is satisfying and rewarding. I would surely recommend this book to any potential buyers.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book back when I was in the 6th grade and loved it. I have read it every year since then. (I am 28 now) The things she has to go through, the life she lives to finally have happiness. This is a great book and will be my favorite forever!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As someone who has read thousands of books, it can take a lot for me to reccomend a book, but this novel is beautiful. I found this book on my book shelf last summer and instantly fell in love with it. Katerine Patterson has a beautiful way with words that will make you want more. A truly wonderful, yet sad book. I highly reccomend.
wildflowersnhoney More than 1 year ago
As an avid reader, a bit of a poet, a lover of slow truths, a daughter, a sister, and a girl on the brink of adulthood... I love everything about this book. Katherine Paterson is easily my favorite author-- in her writing, she somehow finds a way to marry all that is so present in a certain age, a certain time.. That uncomfortable feel of seagrass you can feel itching against your skin, that time when nothing is right before life starts... It's beautiful. I think it's probably one of her best works. A definite read for any real reader
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really liked this book... nice plot... very descriptive... i reccomend for an advanced 4th grade reading level :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book as a teen and couldnt put it down. My Aunt this book for me and she could not have picked a better book for me!
Mia Petty More than 1 year ago
i think this book was awesome. at first it is shaky and uneven and you might not even understand but it was a great book. i am only 13 and i loved it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book and im only ten.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is the 1940’s on the island of Rass where Sara (aka Wheeze) and her talented twin sister Caroline story take place. Sara feels as if she is nothing compared to Caroline. She always feels that she is always forgotten and her family thinks nothing of her. Her dilemma is to whether stay on Rass or be brave enough to adventure the world (since she has only been outside of Rass a couple of times for a few funerals). You witness the jealousy Sara has for her sister and how she plans out the rest of her life. Sara is not the normal proper lady, her crave of attention and adventure leads to want and believe the craziest things. You will see Sara meet new people to guide her in the journey of life. But the most important thing you will witness is Sara finally separating from her child hood and putting that all beside her. I recommend this book for girls; there are some references boys may not understand. You will have a lot of emotion as you read this book happy and sad, and will understand her problem as if it is your own. I would say that this book is a realistic fiction so there is not any action in this book and some parts may just drag on. You will witness Sara whole life and I bet you will have one or two things to relate with.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this when I was my daughters age, and it has stuck with me all these years. Really wonderful novel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is one of my favorite coming-of-age stories. The beautiful setting, along with the deep characters make it a very satisfying read. Of course-duh- I loved the ending the most, which might sound like I was ready for it to be done,but no. I highly recommend this book. I think a five star rating is overrated, but a four star is perfect for this book. So go grab a copy of Jacob Have I Loved and curl up in bed with a cup of hot tea. Be prepared! You won't be able to put it down :) If you like/love this book you might like, I Capture the Castle Jane Eyre Cold Comfort Farm (it's a good movie too, but read the book first) Up A Road Slowly  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this as a young person and have read it again and again since. I can never quite get past the beauty of this story...painful and difficult in exactly the manner to touch many young people. The book is timeless.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
my name is nick messina and i really enjoyed reading this book. i have read it for my 12th grade high school english class. i find this book to be quite entertaining. when i saw the title i knew it would be a sweet story and one filled with loved and life lessons. i was right, jacob have i loved really shows the contrast between good and evil. i really love the  way it accurately depicts human emotion and thoughts.   
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Pretty good:)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I can understand why this was an award winner. The story touched me in so many ways.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very good book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What are you wearing? And are you a virgin? In rl?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you live anywhere in the Chesapeake bay area, you will especially enjoy this warm, inspiring story.
mabtx More than 1 year ago
The book started out great but as it got more into the main character's personality it went down hill fast.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
O.k.book