Daily Archives for: December 19th, 2020

The Betsy-Tacy Books by Maud Hart Lovelace: An Appreciation

Revisiting the Deep Valley novels by Maud Hart Lovelace (1892 – 1980) during the winter holiday season is a particular delight, though this American author’s stories can be enjoyed year-round. Perhaps better known as the Betsy-Tacy books, the themes celebrated in these nostalgic novels for young readers are universal: friendship, devotion, love of home, ambition, and comfort.

Though the novels were published in the 1940s, they take place in the early years of the twentieth century, when the author herself was growing up. As young girls, her well-known heroines—Betsy, Tacy, and Tib—have ten cents to spend on Christmas shopping. As they grow up, in Betsy and Joe (1948), for instance, they have “real shopping” to do, but their trip downtown is as “heavily weighted with tradition as a Christmas pudding with plums.”

They visit every store (including Cook’s Book Store) and price “everything from diamonds to gumdrops, and bought, each one, a Christmas tree ornament … savoring Christmas together all up and down Front Street.” It’s a simple and comforting ritual. Read More→

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