Heaven to Betsy and Betsy In Spite of Herself by Maud Hart Lovelace

I have a backlog of books that I read in the past year and still haven’t reviewed.  So, rather than try to write a full review on a distant memory, I will get these books done with five fast thoughts.  I am naming this the “Fast Five View.”

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Heaven to Betsy and Betsy in Spite of Herself by Maud Hart Lovelace; read in April, 2010.  Copy purchased for myself.

  1. I fell in love with the Ray’s new house and “The Crowd.”  I wanted to be invited over with them, especially for Sunday night lunch, although the thought of an onion sandwich makes my stomach turn!
  2. I really love how these books aren’t centered on boys and being popular.  Lovelace delves into religion when Betsy and her sister want to join a different denomination than that of their parents.  Their feelings are treated with care and respect, and the girls take their conversion very seriously.
  3. Betsy does not always have the best taste in men, as evidenced by Tony and Phil.  But I love that she learns from her mistakes, whether the mistakes involve boys or something else.
  4. One of my favorite things about these books is how the girls are encouraged to be themselves and follow their dreams.  Mr. and Mrs. Ray encourage Betsy’s writing and support Julia’s desire to sing opera.
  5. In one of my grad school classes, when we studied the history of education, one thing we read claimed that being a teenager was an invention of the 1950s.  I’ve never really bought in to this idea.  Spring Awakening (the play that is the basis of the musical) was written at the turn of the 20th century, and the Betsy-Tacy books, which were based on life in the early 20th and published in the 1940s, both give credit to the idea that certain things about being a teenager are timeless.  Despite the passing of 100 years, Betsy struggles with many of the same thoughts and emotions that teens must face today.

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4 Comments

Filed under Fast Five View

4 responses to “Heaven to Betsy and Betsy In Spite of Herself by Maud Hart Lovelace

  1. This is your first time reading through the series? I think you’re right about the teenager business. Maybe they haven’t always been called teenagers, but adolescence was definitely explored in literature well before the 1950s (Little Women, anyone?). Looking forward to seeing your reviews of the remaining books.

    • dogearedandwellread

      It is my first time! I don’t know how they escaped my radar since I was such a reader as a kid.

      Ooh, Little Women is another good example.

      Thanks for stopping by my blog!

  2. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I read the Betsy-Tacys as a child and they helped form me as an adult. I still wish Maud hadn’t written Tony out of the picture, but otherwise, I think the books are perfect.

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