Friday, April 23, 2010

Jacob Have I Loved by Katherine Paterson

Genre: YA, Historical Fiction, Newbery Medal
Published: 1980, 244 pgs.
Source: Personal library
Reason: Shelf Discovery Challenge

Review: 5/5 stars

I'm not sure exactly why I loved this book so much. There were parts that I thought were strange or even inappropriate. The crush she has on a certain character in the book is so strange and weird I could hardly believe it. But I decided to just kind of look over that and love the book anyway. Sara Louise Bradshaw and her twin sister Caroline live with their parents and grandmother on a small Island in the Chesapeake Bay. Louise is a tomboy and Caroline is a golden child with a beautiful voice and everyone adores her. The story is told from Louise's point of view and is both funny because of her great sense of humour but also very sad because of the angst that Louise feels towards her sister.

When I was growing up there were three of us sisters, 3 1/2 years apart. Even though we didn't dislike each other like Louise seems to dislike Caroline, there was plenty of jealousy. I really felt like I could identify with Louise's feelings even though I could also see that she brought on most of her misery herself. My sisters and I did the same thing to each other, comparing ourselves and always coming up short. Another reason I probably liked this book so much was that I was feeling under appreciated as a mother at the time so while I read, I just threw myself a big ol' pity party. Boo hoo for me! ;) Of course, the pity party has to end but sometimes it feels good to attend for a while.

Rating: 2.1.2 The 2's are for the weird, inappropriate crush and the way she describes her feelings and it seems like there may have been just a little bit of Biblical type profanity. (I'm not sure if I remember that right.)


Charlotte said...

In high school this book really worked me up into a rage. I hated Caroline with all my heart and wished something terrible would happen to her! (spoiler allert) I don't remember the inappropriate crush--I just remember the betrayal I felt when Louise's best friend ended up with Caroline.

Kim said...

I hated Caroline too but I hated her grandmother even more. That's one reason I really liked this book--it made me feel very strong emotions, even if they weren't good emotions.

Julie P. said...

I can't wait to read this one since it obviously brings up a lot of intense feelings in the reader!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I thought that crush was bizarre, too!

Lori said...

Thanks for your reviews! I love stopping by your blog to see what new books you have posted about.

I am going to need to reread this book. I read with my now grown daughters years ago, but don't remember it clearly- especially the crush part. In my mind, we really enjoyed the book. :)

Anonymous said...

I love this book, and I really enjoy reading Katherine Peterson. Her characters are very realistic and evoke emotion (good and bad).

Kate said...

LOVE this book, have since i was young. I reread it almost every year. The crush was always a bit weird to be too...but like you i just ignored it and loved the rest :-)

Anonymous said...

Hi Kim,

I really like the rating system you made. It is very helpful I think to help other discerning readers make better choices about what to read. I have a blog myself and was wondering if you would mind me using your type of rating system there when I review books?

My blog can be found at

Anonymous said...

Well "Kim", I dont know what insane planet your from, and you may think that this book has a strange crush and inappropriate parts, but in my opinion, i absoulutley
loved this book!!!!!!
So in your face. HA!