Study Guide

Jacob Have I Loved Plot Analysis

By Katherine Paterson

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Plot Analysis


Home Sweet Rass Island

Sara Louise Bradshaw grows up on Rass Island with a twin sister, Caroline, who outshines her in pretty much everything, and a best friend, Call, who never laughs at her jokes. She's not super psyched about it, and with that, we're ready to watch her growing pains unfold.

Rising Action

Growing Up Crabby

Louise and Call have all kinds of adventures catching crabs and oysters and even meeting a mysterious newcomer they call the Captain. One day, Caroline manages to effortlessly work her way into Call, Louise, and the Captain's inner circle, though, stepping into the only space Louise feels is her own. Well, that's just great. Consider things officially tense on Rass Island.


Caroline, Caroline, Caroline

The Captain decides to send Caroline to boarding school in Baltimore so she can work on her singing, and Louise is left to live on Rass Island and conclude that God totally hates her. It's a low point for Louise as she fills with envy and sinks into depression. Will she rally? Will she sour completely? This is officially the lowest of Louise's lows.

Falling Action

More Bad News

Louise quits school and helps her father on his crab and oyster boats. Later, she finds out that Call and Caroline are going to be married—because of course they are. With that, she officially becomes the third wheel. Ugh.


Appalachian Mountain High

After griping to the Captain and her mother, Louise decides to leave the island and pursue her own dreams. Yay. She goes to school and then moves to an Appalachian town where she works as a nurse, gets married, and finally makes peace with God and her sister. Whew. It's a whirlwind of an ending, but a very happy one, too.

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