Friday, October 30, 2015

Besty-Tacy (and Tib)

My life has been shaped and defined by a book series and fictional characters.  Is that weird?  I have memories of things that I haven't done, but I experienced them so vividly through these books that it feels like I lived them.

But really I think I'm not alone.  How many grown men and women are obsessed with Harry Potter?  Harry Potter is to them what Betsy is to me.  

Betsy is a character in the Betsy-Tacy series by Maud Hart Lovelace.  The series starts with Betsy as a 5 year old and followers her life as she grows into a young woman and then eventually marries.  Betsy had two best friends named Tacy and Tib.  Betsy was the imaginative one, the creative one, the one always telling stories and coming up with adventures.  Tacy and Tib were the good spirited, obliging friends who were always up for whatever Betsy could come up with.  Betsy's childhood was light-hearted and carefree.  She and her friends would have daily picnics, put on neighborhood plays in their sheds, experiment in the kitchen, and most importantly, climb "the Big Hill."  As she grew older she and her friends would go ice skating, have bonfires, make fudge, and gather 'round the piano singing and dancing.  And don't forget about Sunday Night Lunch, which consisted of her father making sandwiches out of whatever happened to be left over in the kitchen from the week.

Maybe I always loved the Betsy books because I always wished my life could be like hers.  She had a group of friends who seemed so lovely, she lived in Minnesota where there are actually seasons, and she had so many fun things to do.  Meanwhile I grew up in a boring desert where there was nothing to do and no one to do it with.  

I also loved reading about the fashion and culture of a by-gone era.  Betsy lived at the turn of the century, when electricity was new and exciting, automobiles were only for the really wealthy, and makeup was just becoming suitable for regular folk.  It was a simpler time, full of new discoveries and inventions.

Betsy's life wasn't perfect.  She had boy drama, academic troubles, and illnesses just like the rest of us.  But that's what made her so relatable.  She lived 100 years before me, yet I could relate to her completely.  

What are your favorite books?  Do you think you'll give Betsy-Tacy (and Tib) a try?


The first four books in the series*:

The first two years of High School*:

The second two years of High School*:

After High School and Betsy gets married*:

*affiliate links

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Thanks for reading. I'd love to know what you think. Please leave a comment!