About Me

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Victoria, Australia
I am an author of Young Adult Fiction books. I worked as a teacher in the Pacific Islands for seven years. Whilst in the Solomon Islands I taught PSSC English before the ethnic tension in 2000 forced a change of plans. I love Pacific literature, art and music. You can find me on Facebook at Beth Montgomery Author.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Jacob Have I Loved by Katherine Paterson

Maybe I'm a bit off the mark here because this book has nothing to do with the Pacific, but strictly speaking it's an 'island' story and it's a good one for teens, so why not?
   It's the story of twins, one loved and one hated (like Jacob and Esau), growing into womanhood on the small island of Rass (somewhere in the USA) during the 1940s. Louise spends all her time crabbing and getting her hands dirty while her sister Caroline is the talented musician whom everyone adores. Louise constantly feels that she walks in Caroline's shadow and she resents her twin sister enormously. When Caroline leaves the island and Louise helps out on the boat during hard times she learns that she too is loved and needed.
   Paterson is an award winning author whose sensitive handling of this narrative paints a young girl struggling with infatuation and jealousy. The ailing and deluded grandmother is also beautifully depicted. The island descriptions are plain but powerful. The smell of crabs and oysters is ever-present and I learnt a great deal about the life-cycle of crabs from reading this novel. This book was awarded the 1980 Newbery Medal.

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