I highly recommend this novel. It deals with difficult, but very real and raw emotions between siblings. The author Katerine Paterson is one of the best story tellers that young people of this generation can read and understand. The story has everything! A tale of family relationships, and rivalry between twins, set in the 1940's era in the Chesapeake Bay. I enjoyed this book for it's dramatic intensity, fullness of the characterizations, believability, and honest dealing with many teen issues. Also, it took place in a locale that we don't usually read about. I will never forget these characters. Paterson is a wonderful writer. I read this book to catch up on children's lit for the age group I will be teaching this coming school year. Fifth graders on up should really read this book. They will certainly come away enriched. I discovered Paterson after reading her riveting "Bridge to Terabithia", another must read.
I remember reading this book when I was 14 and I adored it! This is a great book for any pre-teen to early teen (11-15) girl who feels like she doesn't belong and no one appreciates her. (I know, I know, that's all of them at that age).
The title refers to the biblical passage where God said "Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated." Louise (the main character and narrator) identifies with Esau. She is the older twin, but her younger sister is the golden one.
This is the story of Louise's coming of age, coming to grips with her jelousy of her sister, and finding her place in the world.
I remember reading this in my teens, and loved it. Two sisters are so different, one is loved, one is despised (or so she thinks). It is not until Louise comes into her own that she realizes her life isn't all that bad. I must have read this one a hundred times, and will never stop loving this great YA book. And I have to agree with the other reviewer about Patterson being an amazing author. It's definitely worth it to check her out.
A review from Amazon.com:
The title makes perfect sense after reading the book (a biblical reference to the brother Jacob, who was favored over Isau), but I orignally thought this book would be about a lost love or something.
Anyway, the story deals with the resentment one twin sister, Louise, feels towards the other, Caroline. Yet both are portrayed sympathetically - one can't help but like Caroline at least a little, even though you feel how justifiably Louise is jealous and resentful of her. But through the relationships Caroline has with others, you see how fundamentally decent she is, even as Louise is never able to respond to that.
Caroline is a gifted musician/singer, and grows up to be supremely successful and even marries Louise's childhood friend. The real beauty of this book is that Louise ultimately finds her unique and satisfying place in the world. It is vastly different from where her sister ends up, but then, she was always vastly different from her sister.
The story is also quite interesting for its portrayal of a life on a small Maryland island.
A really poignant coming-of-age novel set on Maryland's eastern shore. Will appeal to a good pre-teen or teenage reader, especially one who feels "outside" the popular, beautiful crowd.