Betsy's Wedding

Overview

Here Comes the Bride When Betsy Ray arrives in New York after a tour of Europe, her old flame Joe Willard is waiting at the dock. Before he even says hello, he asks Betsy to marry him. They've been separated for a year, and they're determined never to be apart again.

But as Betsy discovers, marriage isn't all candlelight, kisses, and roses. There's cooking, ironing, and budgeting as well—not to mention forging her career as a writer! For Betsy, the writing part comes naturally, ...

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Overview

Here Comes the Bride When Betsy Ray arrives in New York after a tour of Europe, her old flame Joe Willard is waiting at the dock. Before he even says hello, he asks Betsy to marry him. They've been separated for a year, and they're determined never to be apart again.

But as Betsy discovers, marriage isn't all candlelight, kisses, and roses. There's cooking, ironing, and budgeting as well—not to mention forging her career as a writer! For Betsy, the writing part comes naturally, but cooking is another matter. It's even harder than algebra—and much messier.

Luckily Betsy Ray—make that Betsy Willard—has always thrived on challenge. Her name may have changed, but her life remains as full of love and laughter as it's been since she was a little girl living on Hill Street in the first of the classic BETSY-TACY books.Betsy returns from Europe to marry Joe Willard—and soon learns that beloved friend Tacy is expecting a baby! It's wartime in America, but Betsy, Joe, and their wonderful circle of friends brave their hardships together.

Author Biography: Maud Hart Lovelace (1892-1980) was the beloved author of the Betsy-Tacy books as well as many other books for adults and children.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
The old Betsy-Tacy and Tib books written in the 1950s are being reprinted at last. Those of us who loved them as children are thrilled, but those of us who did not are more than a little bemused—what on earth is this reputable publisher doing? Well, fear not. HarperTrophy knows exactly what it's doing¾taking advantage of the historical fiction boom. Betsy's wedding takes place as the U.S. is debating whether or not to join England and France in World War One. The introduction by Esther Hautzig is fascinating; this Holocaust survivor speaks of how the "Betsy" books showed her what America would be like when she finally got there. Young children probably won't know anything about those times; younger parents may not be familiar with the early part of the last century (it's often difficult for baby boomers to think of the 1900s as "the last century."); and even today's grandparents, born in the 1930s or 40s, see 1917 as ancient history. For that reason alone, this is a valuable book. It is our history, and fortunately, it is great fun to read. Betsy and her sweetheart Joe are reunited after she has toured Europe and he has gained some work experience. As soon as he finds a job and she lines up an apartment they will be married. Their new lives involve rent, shopping, cooking and planning in a way that neither of them expected, but as usual, "love conquers all," and even though Joe and his friends enlist in the Army, we know that he and Betsy will live happily ever after. Here is a great excuse for parents to read aloud to their older elementary-school children. The language is a little old-fashioned, but that adds to the charm. 2001 (orig. 1955), HarperTrophy, $6.95. Ages 8 up.Reviewer: Judy Silverman
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780064405447
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/28/1996
  • Series: Betsy-Tacy Series
  • Pages: 320
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 750L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.65 (h) x 0.62 (d)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Home Again

Almost choked with excitement and joy, Betsy Ray leaned against the railing as the S.S. Richmond sailed serenely into New York City's inner harbor. The morning was misty, and since they had passed through the Narrows, she had seen only sky and water-and a gull, now and then-as though they were still out in the Atlantic. But she knew she had come home.

... home again, and home again, America for me!
My heart is turning home again, and there I long to be ...

Betsy chanted softly to herself She gripped the rail hard.

And Joe's waiting for me! she thought. Oh, I hope he's going to like me as well as he used to! I hope I look nice.

It wasn't her fault if she didn't. She had beautified herself as thoroughly as possible, but that wasn't much, for she shared a stateroom with three older women — and had been lucky to have one at all. The outbreak of war in Europe had crowded to overflowing all American-bound ships. On the Richmond many men had slept on deck. There had been three sittings at table — the dishes were barely washed between — while talk went on and on about the adventures, the mishaps, the dangers the passengers had encountered in getting out of Germany, or France, or England. Talk was the only diversion for the vessel had sailed its fearful way in darkness.

It had been a contrast to the gay trip on the Columhic which had taken Betsy abroad in January. This was September, 1914. She was twenty-two years old.

I'm glad of my new Paris suit, she thought. The suit, of dark blue wool, was flattering to her slender figure.The skirt was long; the jacket belted with crushed crimson satin. A dark hat framed her shining face. Not just her eyes were shining. Something inside was shining because she was meeting Joe.

Joe Willard had been important to Betsy since high school days in Deep Valley, Minnesota. He had not gone with her Crowd — by his own choice, for his good looks, humor, and warmth drew people to him. But he was an orphan with scant pocket money and no time to waste. He had worked after school on the Deep Valley Sun.

He had worked on the Minneapolis Tribune during the following two years when he and Betsy attended the University of Minnesota. They had considered themselves almost engaged. But then Joe had won a scholarship to Harvard. He had gone East, getting work on the Boston Transcript — for Joe was always working. And they had quarreled.

"It was my fault," Betsy said to the gulls, swooping past her toward the foam that boiled up along the vessel's side. "Flirting with someone I didn't give a hang for! No wonder Joe stopped writing!"

She had felt very badly about it but she had been too stubborn to try to make up.

When her trip abroad was planned — because she wanted to be a writer, and her father had thought she would profit from foreign travel — Betsy had not even let Joe know that she was sailing from the port of Boston. As it happened, however, she had caught a glimpse of him there.

He had been one of a group of reporters interviewing Mrs. Main-Whittaker, the author, and Betsy had recognized his walk. Joe Willard met life with a challenge which showed in his swinging walk. His blond hair had looked the same too, brushed back in a pompadour. The close-cropped mustache had been new. But Betsy had known him, and the sight of him had brought all her heartache flooding back.

She had sailed away determined to forget Joe Willard but she had not forgotten him, during her journey into the Great World.

"I didn't forget him and I didn't stop loving him," she said. She spoke softly for there were people at her elbows now. The sun had come out, and the bay which had been gray was greenish-blue, full of dancing whitecaps. Suddenly a murmur ran along the railing, rising to glad cries and long-drawn-out "Ahs!" of admiration and wonder. Through a crack in the misty clouds ahead, the towers of Manhattan had come into view.

They looked unreal, white and glistening among the clouds, like the towers of a city in a fairy book-or the holy city in the Book of Revelation, Betsy thought, gazing.

"Why, it's Lilliput! You feel you could take it up on the palm of your hand!" a man near her exclaimed.

As the ship churned forward, the buildings grew more substantial, but still they were only white pencils standing on end. It did not seem possible that these could be powerful masses of steel and concrete and stone, the celebrated skyscrapers of New York.

"There's the Woolworth Building!" someone shouted, and everyone stared at that world-famous pile, the highest one of all.

New Yorkers all around her were eagerly identifying other famous buildings, but these cries died down. Gleaming in sunlight, majestic, benign, the Goddess of Liberty had come into view.

That figure with the upflung arm caused silence to fall along the line of travelers returning to their peaceful homeland from a Europe blazing with war. France, Betsy remembered, had given the United States this statue in tribute to the American fight for freedom. And now France was fighting for her freedom!

Tears blurred Betsy's eyes but they weren't just for France. They were for America, and Joe, and because she Was so glad to be back. She cried and cried, wiping away the tears with both her hands, so she could look ahead.

Now everyone was shouting frantically again, above the din of whistles and hollow-sounding horns. They were exclaiming that a phantom bridge at their right was the wonderful Brooklyn Bridge. They were pointing out Ellis Island where immigrants stopped before entering the United States.

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 7, 2005

    This was a good book!

    This is a great book to read if you need advice on how to be a wife. Even though I am still a kid, I enjoyed this book and I will read it over again when I marry.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2010

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    Posted January 6, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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