50 Nifty – Maryland

This is a post in my 50 Nifty series, in which I’m reading through 50 books that embody each of the 50 United States. Find out why I’m doing this and which books I’m reading when (so you can read along) by checking out my first 50Nifty post, or else browse all 50Nifty posts by clicking here!

Jacob Have I Loved, Katherine Paterson

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—Happy Memorial Day!—

This young adult story of sibling comparison had a greater impact on me when I read it as an adolescent, smack in the middle of constantly comparing myself to both of my sisters, than it did this time around, but I still enjoyed the story. In it, Louise and her twin sister (“the pretty one”) live on an island off the coast of Maryland, and Louise narrates her feelings of sadness and betrayal as her sister seems to get all the (admittedly meager) advantages and benefits of their life there. It’s a reality of many siblings, I’d imagine, not just twins, and so it has wide appeal. The story is about finding one’s own strengths and learning not to begrudge others theirs, which is a lesson that seems to be a lifelong pursuit, at least for me.

I really enjoyed the way Paterson wrote about the island that Louise and her sister live on, too; I felt as if I could picture so many details of the place. It made me want to learn about crabbing and experience a hurricane (if I could guarantee that I’d survive it!). A good pick for the 50 nifty list, too, as so much of it actively takes place in and around the landscape. As a YA novel, it’s also a pretty quick read, which was nice!

#50Niftyin15 – See you next week!

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3 Comments

Filed under 50nifty, place, recent reads

3 responses to “50 Nifty – Maryland

  1. BevMom

    This was a heart-jerker for me. I wanted Louise to be happier sooner. But I believe her fictitious life was probably pretty close to reality. Yes, she had seasons of okay-ness and even contentment as a young person. But mostly my heart ached for her.
    Yes, Paterson’s descriptions of the east coast, water- immersed life were fascinating. I could almost taste the salt. Another good read that I might never have picked up. You amaze me with so many of these books you have read in the past! But then again, you have always grabbed onto books. Yea!!!!

  2. Rachel

    I agree (about my heart aching for her), but I feel that way about teens in general most of the time. To them everything is the BIGGEST thing and they really can’t believe it when the rest of us say “it won’t matter down the road,” or “it’s not really the end of the world,” so although the feelings are truly that deep to them, there’s nothing really to do but let them go through it, I suppose. (I STILL do that today, too: I think what I’m going through is THE MOST IMPORTANT thing ever when my elders probably look at me and shake their heads!)

  3. Pingback: 50 Nifty in 15 | wert and art

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