Study Guide

Jacob Have I Loved Chapter 14

By Katherine Paterson

Chapter 14

  • Things are different now that the storm has passed. The Bradshaws have even less than before, so they have to cut out Caroline's music lessons. Too bad, Caroline, too bad.
  • Louise only visits the Captain and his new wife once after their marriage, and the visit isn't pleasant. It ends with everyone laughing at Louise and her storming away from the dinner table.
  • After that, Caroline and Call go to visit the Captain and Auntie Braxton all the time. Caroline sings for her, and the old woman really seems to love it.
  • In December, Auntie Braxton has a stroke and dies a few weeks later.
  • After the funeral, Grandma makes some pretty harsh accusations: she thinks the Captain killed Auntie Braxton. According to Grandma, he poisoned her—and Louise was in on it. This is over the top, even for Grandma.
  • In February, Call drops out of school and takes up crabbing full-time with Louise's father. His mother and grandmother are poor, and they really need the money.
  • Louise sees less and less of her best friend, which makes her pretty sad, though Call seems to improve every week. He's becoming a man. Louise can't follow Call to independence, so she and Caroline decide to visit the Captain by themselves.
  • On one visit, the Captain asks about Caroline's singing. Is she keeping up with it? A little, Caroline says.
  • Louise says it's too bad—it would be nice if the county would send them to a special boarding school where they could have more opportunities, like those lucky kids on Smith Island.
  • About a week later, the Captain comes to the Bradshaw house with a plan: Auntie Braxton left him some money when she died, and he never knew what to do with it, but now, he knows—he's going to pay for Caroline to attend a special school in Baltimore to keep studying her singing. Oh, joy.
  • Then, he tells everyone that it was really Louise's idea. She said someone should pay for a special school because of Caroline's "special circumstances."
  • This is like a knife twisting in Louise's heart.
  • Grandma decides to twist it a little further. She smiles at Louise and then quotes the Bible to her, specifically Romans 9:13: "Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated." Yikes.

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