Heaven to Betsy/Betsy in Spite of Herself by Maud Hart Lovelace. Harper Perennial Modern Classics Edition, 2009. Copy supplied by publisher. My love of these books was made known via twitter & that is how these lovely volumes came into my hands.
Why post again again when I just wrote about these books in Betsy: The High School Years?
Because when you fall for Betsy Ray, you fall hard. So be prepared for posts about the last six of the Betsy Ray books, reissued in three volumes.
These first two books span Betsy's freshmen and sophomore years in High School. Laura Lippman, mystery writer, writes the foreword. Reading what other Betsy admirers has to say is like meeting a friend; and reading what someone like Lippman has to say offers new insights into understanding just what is the attraction about turn of the century Deep Valley and the people who lived there.
Speaking as a teen who read Betsy, Lippman remembers that "Betsy was the most relatable character I could find." She talks about Betsy and her writing, and how "the person who comes between Betsy and her writing in her first two years of high school is ... Betsy." And how through it all, Betsy writes -- moves forward in her dream of writing, despite everything -- with the support of those who love her. A fine role model for anyone.
I also reviewed The Betsy Tacy Companion, a must-read for fans. Harper has the applicable excerpts from the Companion in this volume! Including the photographs of the "real" people and places! So you can read the books and get instant gratification by reading the "true" story behind the books.
© Elizabeth Burns of A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy