by Katherine Paterson
Romans nine thirteen,” she said. “As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.”
Growing up on the island of Rass in Chesapeake Bay, twins Louise and Caroline have not had an easy life. Well, Louis hasn’t. Caroline, well, she pretty much gets whatever she wants. Money is tight, and Louise works on the boat (crabbing) and contributes her earnings to the family. Caroline doesn’t work and gladly uses the family money for music lessons on the mainland.
As the sisters grow, Louise becomes more and more resentful of Caroline and the seeming favoritism in the family. With a crotchety grandmother egging her on and no real prospects of her own, Louise looks to others outside of the family for love and support. Not surprisingly, her situation remains bleak.
It will take the separation of the twins and a test of Louise’s personal strength for the young woman to finally find happiness.
While it is easy to get bogged down by the constant descriptions of crabbing, stay with this, dear Reader. For anyone who has ever felt the slightest twinge of sibling rivalry, this novel offers hope and redemption. Of course, we are supposed to love Louise, but it takes her a long time to realize how loved she is. This is a sad and wonderful novel for young people.