There will be certain spoilers here. Nothing monumental but if you don't want to know what happens in each book, just ignore me for a moment and go read the stories for yourself.
In my last review, I left off with Betsy & Joe who were developing their relationship. It was fresh and exciting! So it was with some great amount of INSANE disappointment that I cracked open Betsy and the Great World, and discovered that Betsy had botched things with Joe in a moment of extreme lack of consciousness and understanding, and was off exploring the Great World all by her lonesome. This, of course, is a recipe for disaster for any female who is ready and willing to lose her heart to guys at a moment's notice. Which Betsy is and does with some enormous amount of annoying regularity.
I felt she slipped. I felt like we had regressed to Betsy's teenage days when she wanted to have fifteen cakes and eat them all too. I confess: I was very mad at Betsy throughout most of this book. (And I won't type what I thought of Sarah for putting me through this agony. Ha!)
But. To be fair, there is a certain element of Anne and Gilbert about this book. It has an Anne of the Island flair to it. You just have to suffer through the book until
So anyhow, I was pretty ticked with Betsy for a few days while I read through this one and I was glad to have her finally set things back in order at the end.
Side note: This is why I like to read series by dead authors. I can't fathom the agony of having to wait a millennium for the next installment to come out. Can you imagine having to wait for Lovelace to fix what she broke?!!?
I moved on to Betsy's Wedding feeling a little miffed. But my ruffled and riled feathers were on their way back down because Betsy and Joe were on the mend and finally tied the knot.
This book is all about their early married life. They find an apartment, they buy their first house, they hang out with friends and generally just spend their time really getting to know one another. I suppose it's an accurate portrayal of most early marriages. Actually, this story is based on Maud's own marriage to her husband, Delos. It's a perfectly believable story and they interact with one another and struggle through their early existence in perfectly believable ways.
I just like Anne and Gilbert better, that's all. NOT to say that I dislike Betsy. See, I have this thing. (Are you ready? My good friend here in town laughs at me about this.) I don't really care to be around newlyweds. I just don't. I know I was one once but Jonathan and I weren't the type that were so mushy around other people that we were disturbing the peace or anything. You could have a normal conversation in our presence and we could have one in yours. I know newlyweds have a great learning curve, and I prefer that they learn outside of my presence. (We always strove to do our learning on our own time as well.)
Now, I like Anne and Gilbert because instantly upon marriage they were hard at work in their community and were having friends over and that's kind of what Jonathan and I did. We started two new businesses right from the get-go and threw ourselves into church events and worked alongside one of another. (Not necessarily entirely recommended but it worked for us.) We enjoyed just diving into life together and so I find more appeal in Dr. Gilbert Blythe and his red-headed bride than in Betsy and Joe. (And before you start to harass me about this, I do strongly believe that newlyweds should be left alone for a period of time so that they can figure each other out! The faster the better! A lot of outside influence and input can prove disastrous at times. Besides- there is a good Biblical argument for a couple having some time to focus on themselves for a while. That is all very good.)
That to say, I don't really take any issue with Betsy and Joe and I'm glad to hear how their story concludes (from the perspective of the series at any rate.) I just didn't end up loving them dearly. BUT! I AM very grateful to have read the books. I think they are artfully written in that they send you on a complete whirlwind of highs and lows. No matter what you feel towards Betsy at any given moment, you keep rooting for her and reading on. I think that's the mark of a good, quality series.
So there you have it. My opinion. Just one of many. Ta da! The end!
Once again, thanks to Sarah at Library Hospital for hosting the Maud Hart Lovelace Challenge and to Harper Perennial Classics for providing the books to read!