Friday, March 29, 2013

Betsy and the Great World

Finished Betsy and the Great World, the ninth book of Maud Hart Lovelace's Betsy-Tacy series. It's 1914 and Betsy is now 22. She went to the U for a few years, but left and she and Joe have had some sort of falling out. She is at loose ends. Her father suggests a trip to Europe. She is to have a professor and his spinster sister as her chaperones. Just before sailing out of Boston harbor, Betsy catches a glimpse of Joe, now a journalist in Boston, interviewing a famous writer who is on board. She tries to catch his eye, but doesn't succeed. At the beginning of her trip she is lonely and seasick, but once the sea cooperates she is able to get up and explore the ship. She makes many friends and enjoys the people watching.

Once oversees she visits various places such as Munich, Venice, Paris and London, staying in each for quite a long while. Much of the time she is barely chaperoned at all and she has tremendous fun going and seeing and doing everything she has always dreamed of doing in Europe. She also has several close calls in the love department. Towards the end of her trip, while she is in London, England declares war on German. In the midst of this she and Joe make up their differences via letter/newspaper advertisement and she then sets sail for home.

I really enjoyed this book. I think it was Betsy's coming of age. Taking her out of Deep Valley and The Crowd gave her a chance to grow up a bit, open herself up to new ideas and unfamiliar cultures. The gap between senior year at Deep Valley High and this trip was a bit baffling, but there was a four year gap in between the writing of this and the previous book. All the other books had been written one a year. This is a must read for Betsy-Tacy fans.

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