by Maud Hart Lovelace
Besides the Betsy-Tacy books, Lovelace published three other stories that took place in Deep Valley, Minnesota. Carney’s House Party, time-line wise, takes place in the four-year gap between Betsy and Joe and Betsy and the Great World. And actually, it would have been nice to read this book in its place, as it helps fill a bit of the gap there.
As always with Lovelace’s works, I really enjoyed this story, which follows a summer in Carney’s life, between her sophomore and junior years of college. Home for the season, several of Carney’s friends come to stay, leading to a summer full of fun and frolics, with a bit of romance thrown in.
While the story is happy and it’s great fun to see old friends again, the story’s beginning and end take place at Carney’s college. These chapters seem a bit out of place, since the author takes a decent amount of time to describe the college and its main buildings and people Carney knows there–people and places that are completely irrelevant to the rest of the story.
This book doesn’t flow quite as naturally as the Betsy books, but this is understandable as Betsy is based on Lovelace herself, while Carney’s story is that of a real-life friend of Lovelace’s… perhaps it was a bit more awkward to write about the thoughts and feelings of someone else who is a real someone else!
Still, overall another delightful book, and one that I would definitely recommend reading in that gap after Betsy and Joe.