I just finished Jacob Have I Loved by Katherine Paterson as part of my Newbery Challenge list. This title has been in the back of my mind for years and surprisingly I never read it. For shame!!! All the years I missed out on a really great book.
Set on a tiny island in the Chesapeake Bay during the 1940's, Jacob Haved I Loved tells the story of Louise (aka Wheeze) and her twin sister, Caroline. Louise, a hard-working thirteen-year-old, helps support her family and Caroline's music lessons by progging for crab. She finds it hard to live with her over-indulged sister and often feels left out because she is not as pretty as the lovely Caroline. The entire island seems to be under Caroline's spell. But the mysterious appearance of Captain Wallace creates a new connection for Louise. But soon even that relationship is usurped by Caroline. Frustrated by the strained relationship with her family and life on the island itself, Louise must break free from what she sees as a small life and create her own in the mountains.
Like I stated earlier, I absolutely loved this title! It would have been the perfect read for me as a teen. I'm sorry I didn't give it a try then. I can see a lot of myself in Louise. While I don't have a twin, I have experienced sibling rivalry to a degree and have myself felt unworthy. Louise was a truly likeable character. A bit unusual for me but I also enjoyed the setting. I'm not much for water settings since I'm landlocked. It's sometimes hard to relate but Paterson does an excellent job of pulling you into the island and its characters.