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Betsy and Joe by Maud Hart Lovelace
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Betsy and Joe (1948)

by Maud Hart Lovelace

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The eighth installment of Maud Hart Lovelace's wonderful Betsy~Tacy series, which follows the experiences of three girls growing up in Minnesota in the late nineteenth, and early twentieth centuries; and the fourth and final book dealing with their high school years, Betsy and Joe witnesses the long-expected commencement of a romance between Betsy Ray and Joe Willard. It also sees the poignant exit of a long-time member of "The Crowd," Tony Markham.

Senior year is always a time of changes, and Betsy, Tacy and Tib find that their final year at Deep Valley High School is no exception. Tacy, long the only girl in the Crowd with no interest in the opposite sex, finds herself with a most unexpected suitor! And Betsy, always of the belief that she can be friends with everybody, comes to the realization that she will have to make a choice: continue to string Tony along (albeit with the best of intentions), or tell him the truth about her feelings for Joe.

Having never been involved in a love triangle myself, I have no way of knowing how I myself would behave (I suspect that I would opt for the brutal honesty that Betsy eschews), but as always, Lovelace makes me identify with her heroine, understand her choices, and sympathize with her feelings. I enjoyed this final high school adventures immensely, and look forward to accompanying the lovable Betsy out into the "Great World." ( )
  AbigailAdams26 | Jul 18, 2013 |
9/2012 There's so much depth in Lovelace's books, so much backstory that's more felt than expressed. It somehow puts me in mind of Tolkien that way. It's the feeling one gets whilst reading a book that is entirely grounded in one specific world, the history of which is fully known to the author and intuited by the reader. It makes for a roundness, a fullness that satisfies in ways the less well-built world fails to do.

It doesn't hurt that, in my copy of this, tucked into the page describing Betsy's Class Day photos is a copy of Maud's Class Day photo, and lo! she is wearing Betsy's outfit.

Can't recommend this series highly enough.

12/2009 Finally, it seems that Betsy and Joe will be together. This can't possibly be a spoiler, can it, given the title of the book? But the course of true love never did... you know.

Tony (who I adore) comes into his own as a character in this book. We get a glimpse of the boy hiding behind the lazily efficient coffee-maker, the sleepily joking clown. And I wish I didn't know about the real-life Tony, because my fictional Tony goes on to have a long and gloriously satisfying life.

Betsy's maturation continues, and she honors her family, her writing, and her friends- but she's still not able to say the things which need to be said where love and romance are concerned. Miss Bangeter teaches her famous Shakespeare class to the DV seniors- and oh, how I wish I could have audited it. I'm guessing that 90% of what I knew of Shakespeare in my teens came from Lovelace (and also Norma Johnstone's Tish books).

A lovely end to the high school portion of the series. ( )
  satyridae | Apr 5, 2013 |
In Betsy's senior year, she finds herself "going with" Joe Willard (what she has always wanted), but also drawn to her old friend Tony. As she tries, unsuccessfully, to juggle relationships, she matures enough to make the right choices for all of them. The book's characters are based on Lovelace's high school friends, although the character of Joe Willard is based on her husband, who she met as an adult. ( )
  Bjace | Nov 23, 2010 |
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Epigraph
All's well that ends well. - Wm. Shakespear
Dedication
To Delos
First words
At the top of Agency Hill, Betsy Ray turned Old Mag off the road into the shade of an elm.
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
This edition contains ONLY "Betsy and Joe". Please do not combine with the edition that contains BOTH "Betsy Was a Junior" AND "Betsy and Joe".
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Book description
Betsy Ray has always thought that she and the fascinating Joe Willard would make the perfect couple. Now, in her senior year at Deep Valley High School, it looks as though she'll get her wish. As soon as Joe returns from his summer job in North Dakota, he's on the Ray's porch with sweet words for Betsy. It's going to be a wonderful senior year! Then Tony Markham, Betsy's longtime chum, comes calling-and his intentions are definately romantic. Betsy is torn. She really cares for Joe, but she doesn't want to hurt Tony. Can she figure out a way to follow her heart without ruining her friendship? (0-06-440546-X)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 006440546X, Paperback)

Made for Each Other?

Betsy Ray has always thought that she and the fascinating Joe Willard would make the perfect couple. Now, in her senior year at Deep Valley High School, it looks as though she'll get her wish. As soon as Joe returns from his summer job in North Dakota, he's on the Rays' porch with sweet words for Betsy. It's going to be a wonderful senior year!

Then Tony Markham, Betsy's longtime chum, comes calling -- and his intentions are definitely romantic. Betsy is torn. She really cares for Joe, but she doesn't want to hurt Tony. Can she figure out a way to follow her heart without ruining her friendship?

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:41:15 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

In her senior year of high school, Betsy Ray is torn between Joe Willard, who has written her letters all summer, and Tony Markham, her longtime friend who now sees her in a more romantic light.

» see all 2 descriptions

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