Strangely enough for a young girl growing up in the 80’s, Betsy’s Wedding taught me everything I needed to know about love and marriage — although, not sex. To be clear, this is YA from before YA was invented!
Betsy’s Wedding is the conclusion of Maud Hart Lovelace’s beloved Betsy-Tacy series, a ten-book chronicle following a young girl growing up in Minnesota in the early 20th century. While the early books were sweet and very appropriate for young children (especially girls) it’s the final book that holds a special place in my heart.
From the resolution of Betsy and Joe’s “will they or won’t they” romance, to the comical vignettes of learning to cook, to the now-all-too-familiar negotiations of marriage, this book provided a fascinating glimpse into adult life for me.
True to earlier books, Betsy remains a smart, practical heroine. In a surprisingly modern plot line, she struggles to balance the demands of work (her writing) and home. And unlike earlier books , the character evolves even further as Betsy deals with the frightening adult reality of her husband enlisting as the US lurches into WWI – now there’s a war you don’t read much about. All in all, this is a delightful book that offers a compelling look at one young woman’s life in what seems like both a distant past and a very contemporary present.
One more note: you’ll appreciate this book more if you read at least the second half of the series, starting with Heaven to Betsy.
What book taught you something about life that you’ve never forgotten?