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Carney's House Party (Deep Valley #1)

4.17 of 5 stars 4.17  ·  rating details  ·  1,287 ratings  ·  51 reviews
It is the summer of 1911, the Carney Sibley is back home in her beloved town of Deep Valley, Minnesota. She's looking forward to hosting a month-long house party, with guests including her Vassar college roommate Isobel Porteous and old chum Betsy Ray. With lots of the old Crowd and a new friend--wealthy, unkept, but loveable Sam Hutchinson--around, the days are filled wit ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published November 7th 2000 by HarperCollins (first published December 1st 1949)
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I love that two of the three proposals we get in this series aren't actually proposals at all, but commands. You WILL marry me or else. It shouldn't work, but it totally does.

This was adorable! Carney is so, so great and all the girls, and one thing I really appreciate about MHL is how well she writes different types of girls. She's not just writing the same character over and over again, they run the gamut, really, and it's so refreshing.

Plus, Betsy and Joe!!! Betsy and Joe!!!!

And okay, Sam is
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.

I've never identified with Carney particularly. She's so reserved, so prim, so proper and I have never been any of those things. And yet. Her fears, her hopes, her motivations- all pretty recognizable to me.

Part of the problem with having Lovelace's books filed under "comfort reading" in my head is that I forget what a good writer she is, how she sees so keenly into people. Coming here for sweetness and finding only magnifying mirrors is more than a little disconcerting.

Several passages le
The close of Carney's sophomore year and the beginning of her junior year at Vassar bookend the events of the summer of 1911 in this wonderful, gentle, and funny book, which is an offshoot of Maud Hart Lovelace's well-loved semi-autobiographical Betsy-Tacy series.

I probably shouldn't say this very loudly in the company of Maud Hart Lovelace fans, but I like Carney Sibley better than Betsy Ray. It doesn't entirely make sense. Betsy is ambitious and wants to travel and become a writer; Carney kee
Oct 17, 2010 Kate rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Betsy-Tacy fans
So it seems that I have more in common with Carney than I originally thought. I adored this book! It was a wonderful companion to a childhood series.

Edit, 10/17/10
Just finished rereading this book. Oh, but it's wonderful. Lovelace has such a deep love of her characters, and since they're all based on her friends, it's no wonder why.
Re-read 7/23/11.

This book was a childhood favorite that I still really love! It's part of the Betsy-Tacy collection, which is a series of books based on the author's childhood. Most of them are in Betsy's point of view, but this one is Carney's. It's set the summer after Carney's sophomore year of college in the early 1900's. And knowing that this is when the author really grew up gives the book's setting so much authenticity!

Anyway, Carney hosts a house party, where several of her best friends
This is only peripherally a Betsy-Tacy book - that's really marketing hyperbole (gee... that's unusual.)

However, it is a really good story. Betsy and Tacy's friend Carney is done with her first year at Vassar, and heading back to Deep Valley for the summer. In order to make sure that she has a chance to visit with all her friends, and keep her posh Easterner room-mate entertained during her visit, Carney arranges a house-party...

This is a great example of my comfort reading. It is sweet, and saf
Love it. Love it, love it, love it.


Yep. I still love it.

2015 Reading challenge: a book you can finish in a day.

*Read: January 2012, 07 March 2015
This one is still relatively new to me, when I think how many times I've read it compared to the rest of the Betsy series. It was out of print for so long, yet is such an important part of the books. Both Betsy and Joe make an appearance, too. Focusing on Betsy's friend Carney, this story takes place the summer between her sophomore and junior year at Vassar, and finally solves the mystery of what happened with her and her high school crush Laurence.

This is a lovely snapshot of summers in the mi
The book I should have read before Betsy's and the Great World (grumble grumble, numbering system, grumble grumble) it primarily concerns Carney, a secondary character in the high school books, and her "house party" which apparently once upon a time had a definition meaning people coming to visit you for an extended time. All sorts of things happen during the house party, which are quite enjoyable to read about. There's the usual singing, going on drives, chattering, hosting parties of every str ...more
Why did Vassar ever go co-ed? My kid read this and wanted to go there....but alas...
Jun 28, 2008 Ruth added it
I love these books.
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Re-read for 2014 VSC discussion.

05-22-2010 review:
**slight spoilers toward the end**
This is a particularly fun one to discuss at the VSC, because it's a strong favorite among the NY Chapter members, and that invariably leads to a raucous discussion.

I always enjoy my glimpse into Carney's sensible perspective. (I like things settled, too!) With my last read, I remember noticing what an excellent job MHL did with the tightened time frame of just one summer. This time around, I found myself compa
This book automatically gets 4 stars for being part of the Betsy-Tacy series. It was wonderful to read about the same characters, but from a different perspective since this book focuses on Carney rather than on Betsy.

For the first part of the book, Carney spends a great deal of time thinking about Larry, her sort-of boyfriend who moved to California when they were in high school (she is now a rising junior at Vassar). They have written to each other every week ever since he moved away. Carney s
I wanted to like this book more, I really did. It's about a fine, upstanding girl who learns about sincerity and about genuineness in people. But there was cognitive dissonance; she was a (I want to insert Protestant) well-off girl from a hard-working family, wealthy enough to go to Vassar when most girls did not do college, and saving enough to be bothered considerably when other people throw money around. She's from Minnesota, I think. I picture her as one of the well-meaning girls who was cha ...more
8/22/08: I read this one a little more critically than I did the first time. For one, as much as I like Sam, he is so much more flawed than any of the other male characters, I think. Did Maud like his counterpart? He was so grumpy and his way or the high way and pushy. I did admire the way he was saving up to buy Carney's ring cash, though, since it was so important to her.

One of my biggest issues with this series came up again, though. It's been one year since the last book in the series ended.
It could be just me, but I really think the writing style changed in the middle. I expected to like Carney because I thought I liked her in the BT books, and partly because I've never totally liked Betsy--she's way too in charge of the world, etc. I'd always have liked for Tacy to be a more developed character. (So I automatically thought Carney, being on the "other side," would be infinitely more likeable)

Anyway, partly based on the writing style of the first half, I didn't like Carney either.
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Faith Hough
Good writing and good fun. Maud Hart Lovelace's stories have got to be some of the most relaxing books ever written, due in large part to how well crafted they are. (My writer brain never once stops to critique, only admire.)
A sweet interlude in the Betsy-Tacy stories - but Carney is a less bubbly narrator than Betsy.
Fun, light-hearted look at what it might have been like to be a teenager in 1911.
Nov 30, 2013 Alicia rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of Betsy-Tacy books
I thoroughly enjoyed this sweet story by the author of the Betsy-Tacy books. Carney is a friend of Betsy's who returns home to Minnesota for the summer after 2 years of college, and her long-distance boyfriend (who moved to CA four years before) comes to visit... will she end up with him? Or with the new guy in town? I love reading about life in this "simpler", more innocent time period (almost 100 years ago). This is great "escape" reading that brings me back to the days when my sister and I de ...more
Nov 04, 2010 Renee added it
Shelves: read-2010, new
I loved Carney and her story a lot. As someone from the West who went East for college, I completely identifed with her frustration and difficulty fitting in with the girls from the East. At several points throughout the book I found myself nodding in agreement at some of her obseravtions. I liked her "foreheadedness" and her difficulties becoming closer with Isobel. Their friendship, close yet with prickles was similar to some friendships of my own. Fantastic story, still relatable.
Laura Hughes
A sweet Betsy-Tacy universe side story/sequel, novella length. It's interesting to see life from the point of view of a side Betsy-Tacy character with Betsy herself as only an incidental side character. Carney is in college now, but on her vacation, she reunites with old friends, including the boy she's understood to be engaged to--but hasn't seen in months. A romance with college details that I imagine has had generations of high school girls swooning.
I admit I read the ORIGINAL (from the public library) and I couldn't find the dark blue cover here si picked this edition. I loved Deep Valley and was eager to return for the house party! I wonder why we don't do these kind of things this century?
Not technically part of the Betsy-Tacy series but just as enjoyable, Carney's House Party is about one of Betsy's crowd of friends, Carney Sibley, and a house party she gives between her sophomore and junior years at Vassar.
Maureen E
A re-read. I’m a major Lovelace fan; the only book I haven’t read from the Deep Valley series is Winona’s Pony Cart. I liked seeing a different perspective on love and marriage, and Betsy and Joe’s relationship. [Jan. 2010]
Although this book isn't part of the Betsy series, it contains a lot of the same characters. It was fun to read, and as with the other books, contains a lot of interesting details about daily life during that time period.
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What did you think of the characters in this one? 1 2 Jan 17, 2015 10:33AM  
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Maud Hart Lovelace was born on April 25, 1892, in Mankato, Minnesota. She was the middle of three children born to Thomas and Stella (Palmer) Hart. Her sister, Kathleen, was three years older, and her other sister, Helen, was six years younger. “That dear family" was the model for the fictional Ray family.

Maud’s birthplace was a small house on a hilly residential street several blocks above Mankat
More about Maud Hart Lovelace...

Other Books in the Series

Deep Valley (3 books)
  • Emily of Deep Valley (Deep Valley, #2)
  • Winona's Pony Cart (Deep Valley, #3)
Betsy-Tacy (Betsy-Tacy, #1) Betsy-Tacy and Tib (Betsy-Tacy, #2) Betsy and Tacy Go Over the Big Hill (Betsy-Tacy, #3) Betsy and Tacy Go Downtown (Betsy-Tacy, #4) Heaven to Betsy (Betsy-Tacy, #5)

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“Carney was hatless and gloveless, wearing her pink linen. Sam looked at her more than once.
“its just because he likes pink,” she told herself.”
“Sam!” cried Carney. “I’m afraid I lost the flashlight, but…”
That was all she said for Sam took her in his arms. Holding her tightly he kissed her muddy face, not once but several times.”
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