September 17, 2011

Emily of Deep Valley ~ a review

Posted in Book Reviews, Books, Fiction at 3:58 pm by catsinboxes

After about a week and a half of unusual busyness, I was very ready to put my nose in a book. Besides, it’s that time of year. The leaves are just starting to change, the nights are perfect for sleeping with the window open, all-in-all it’s perfect book weather.

At a recent trip to Half-Price Books, a book in the clearance section caught my eye. (As an aside, I’ve had good luck finding fun reads in the clearance section!) It was -bet you can guess!- Emily of Deep Valley by Maud Hart Lovelace.

For those of you who are Betsy-Tacy enthusiasts, you don’t need any explanation. But I have a confession; I never read any books by Maud Hart Lovelace growing up. Not a single one. The reason was simple; my sister loved them. So, out of pure contrariness, I didn’t read them.

But, at 19-going-on-20, I’ve reached an almost-reasonable age. So, I pulled the book off the shelf and examined it.

For those of you familiar with the Deep Valley books, this cover will be normal. If this is new for you, don’t let the cover put you off! I personally am not a fan of the cover; I don’t think it does Emily credit. But now for the book review . . .

For Emily Webster, graduating from Deep Valley High School is bittersweet. She loves the excitement and the whirlwind of activity leading up to graduation, but she dreads what will follow. All of her friends, “the crowd”, will be heading off to college. For Emily, life will continue in Deep Valley as she lives and cares for her grandfather. This book covers a year in Emily’s life, a year in which many things happen.

In a way this is a comfort book; it’s relatively slow-paced. I realized that and made a point of reading it slowly, not skimming over the details. I love the character development because by the end of the book, just like Emily, the reader is looking at Deep Valley and the people in Emily’s life differently.

Personally I loved the book because I can really relate to many of Emily’s feelings. This is a coming-of-age book in the most proper sense of the word. It captures the awkwardness -often inward- of a girl’s feelings as she slowly is coming into her own. I know what that’s like!

One word about the “Deep Valley” part of the title. This book takes place in the same location as the rest of Maud Hart Lovelace’s books, only about two years later. Characters that I had heard of by name had brief cameos, but it’s not necessary to read all the other books before this one. At least, I didn’t let that stop me!

Summing it up, if you are a girl (sorry guys, this probably wouldn’t be for you!), and you’re in need of something to read, I highly recommend Emily of Deep Valley. It’s a quick enough read to polish off in one weekend, and it doesn’t need the mental concentration that -say Dickens- would demand.

With all that said, I must be going. Have a great Saturday and enjoy your weekend!


  1. kristen said,

    You haven’t ready any of the Betsy books??? GASP! Wow, Hayley, there’s one couple of books I’ve read that you haven’t! ;o) But at the same time… this one I have not seen.

  2. catsinboxes said,

    Kristy: hahaha 🙂 You’re one series up on me!

  3. […] in my life, especially —like Emily— not going on to college right away.  (Here’s a review written much closer to that time in my life.) […]

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