Monday, April 18, 2005

Jacob Have I Loved, by Katherine Paterson

So, it's a classic. It won the Newbery in 1980 and a ton of awards. It's the story of Sara Louise, or "Wheeze" who grows up in a crab harvesting community in Chesapeake Bay in the 1940s. The book is largely about sibling rivalry with her sister Caroline -- the brilliant and talented.

It is a good book. But probably just not my type of good book. The writing is not outstanding in itself, although there are a few wonderful strong moments. And the story has a broader scope (travelling with Sara all the way through to her adulthood, marriage, and child). In fact, the story doesn't really seem to know how to end, and major characters are lost and forgotten about by the end. So, since I tend to derive my greatest satisfaction from strong characters who acheive some sort of change or development, I was left a bit disappointed.

That said, it is a good book. But not one that will move you in a strong emotional way. It simply is.

1 comment:

Sarah Louise said...

A testament to how books can affect people differently. As a librarian, I submit to Ranganathan's law: each book has its reader. The audio of Jacob have I loved is read by Moira Kelly (Billy Bathingate) and wonderful. In the past month I have listened to it about 10 times, commuting to and from work. The last twenty minutes often brought me to tears. My "alter ego" for my blog is named Sarah Louise, after the main character in this book. And about adults reading kids books: kids books are often better literature than the mass market tomes you can find at the airport shops.