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Anyone familiar with Maud Hart Lovelace's recently reprinted Betsy-Tacy books is aware of how delightful it is to visit her fictional Deep Valley, Minnesota any time of the year. Particularly good for summer reading, however, is Carney's House Party.
Carney Sibley, a Deep Valley regular, gets top billing in a book relating the story of her engagement. Opening at the end of her Junior year at Vassar, and closing at the beginning of her Senior year, this is a sweetheart of a summer vacation story that is as well-ordered, winning, and bright as Carney herself.
Carney's parents have obligingly built a "sleeping porch" -- all the rage for summer in larger cities. Carney is to have exclusive use of it for part of the summer in order to have a "house party," a now obsolete term meaning that for a couple of weeks Carney's friends move in, have a day-and-night romp, and Carney's parents are more accommodating than most parents ever dreamed of being. Hence "the crowd," many of whom have moved from Deep Valley following their high school days together, make their way back, including Larry Humphreys, Carney's long-distance beau since Heaven to Betsy days (another title in the delightful Betsy-Tacy series).
The Summer is not all house party, however, and Carney has time and a less-than-ideal circumstance in which to meet Sam Cardon, who in the eyes of her predatory Vassar acquaintance is a fairly desirable young bachelor from a very desirable family. Carney, who is interested in the man and not the mansion, is first repelled then gradually attracted. This, of course, constitutes the conflict in the story: Is Sam her man of substance, or will Larry prove to be as loyal and loveable in person as he has been through his letters to her?
Carney's House Party is the perfect way to start a summer vacation. Chronologically, the story falls after Betsy and Joe, but before Emily of Deep Valley, which is followed by Betsy and the Great World.
Carney's House Party by Maud Hart Lovelace is featured in Vol 9 No 4 of The Storybook Home Journal.