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Carney's House Party (Deep Valley #1)

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4.12  ·  Rating Details ·  1,679 Ratings  ·  72 Reviews
It is the summer of 1911, and 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, unkempt, but lovable 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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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Emily
Sep 12, 2009 Emily rated it it was amazing
I've certainly been enjoying my reread of the Betsy-Tacy series, but increasingly, as I made my way through the high school books, it was feeling like too much candy at once. I kept telling myself that after I finished a given book, I would take a break and read something else as a palette cleanser. I finished Betsy and Joe, and having done with high school (something of a relief) came to a natural break in the series.

Meanwhile, there are three books that I have started and put aside to make way
...more
Jess
Feb 08, 2012 Jess rated it really liked it
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
...more
kris
Feb 16, 2014 kris rated it really liked it
EVERYONE DESERVES THEIR OWN BABY HIPPO!!!
Grace
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Beth Bonini
Jun 01, 2017 Beth Bonini rated it really liked it
I loved the Betsy-Tacy books when I was growing up, but somehow managed to miss out on the Deep Valley series. Even though Betsy Ray is only a minor character is this novel, the storyline has exactly the same charm. The novel begins at Vassar - where Carney, lifelong Deep Valley resident - has just completed her sophomore year. Carney is a confident girl who has always enjoyed the most complete sense of belonging in her small community. She is used to being an important person, and her comfortab ...more
Melody
Sep 10, 2007 Melody rated it it was amazing
8/2015

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
...more
Kate
Dec 10, 2009 Kate rated it it was amazing
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.
Katie
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
...more
Kellyn Roth
When I read through the Betsy-Tacy books for the first time, a lot of stuff seemed to be missing between books 8 and 9. Then I read Carney's House Party ... and now I understand! Which was amazing, because I really love this series ... but it just didn't make sense until I read this book.

Besides filling in the gaps, the story is beyond amazing. And I love Carney ... and Sam ... and Bonnie ... and all of Carney's family ... and seeing Betsy and Tacy and everyone from a different perspective.

I'd r
...more
Deena
Apr 03, 2008 Deena rated it really liked it
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
...more
Cathy
Love it. Love it, love it, love it.

07/03/2015

Yep. I still love it.

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

*Read: January 2012, 07 March 2015
Lawrence
Nov 30, 2010 Lawrence rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kerith
Jan 30, 2011 Kerith rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade
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
...more
Michelle
Dec 25, 2016 Michelle rated it really liked it
Good story. Made me think of tradition and my childhood, fondly. The cover is deceiving as it is about college kids and not preteens or high schoolers, as one might guess. The better for it and, like I said, a nostalgic good time.
Laura
Jan 22, 2016 Laura marked it as cataloged
Shelves: childrens-series
betsy-tacy
Ruth
Jun 28, 2008 Ruth added it
I love these books.
Amanda Aelker
Jun 06, 2016 Amanda Aelker rated it really liked it
I liked this one much better than the Winona book- although I thought that for a series the age gap was pretty big. I also liked the connection with familiar characters- Winona and Betsy for two.
Deb
Jul 30, 2007 Deb rated it it was amazing
Why did Vassar ever go co-ed? My kid read this and wanted to go there....but alas...
Sarah
May 04, 2017 Sarah rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens, 2017
Can you believe I never read the Betsy-Tacy books? I think they just weren't at my library and so I never saw them or knew about them. I knew from all my librarian colleagues who are B-T fans that they seemed like books I would like, but I just never tried them. So while this book was not about B-T per se, it's still in Deep Valley and features I guess all the regular characters (or, in the book's parlance, "the Crowd.")
Oh my goodness was this ever an incredibly old-fashioned fascinating treat.
...more
Lauren
Jun 16, 2017 Lauren rated it really liked it
Please don’t make me leave Deep Valley. I know I didn’t love a couple of books in the middle, but reading Carney’s House Party, I fell in love all over again, and I never want to leave.

Told from the perspective of Carney, the book opens at Vassar College, and I love the research Ms. Lovelace did into Vassar and its traditions (adult me was totally berating teenage me for not applying to Vassar after reading this). The story then takes us to Deep Valley, where Carney hosts high school and college
...more
Melinda
Feb 20, 2013 Melinda rated it liked it
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
Treasa
Nov 04, 2009 Treasa rated it really liked it
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
...more
Shelley
Sep 10, 2007 Shelley rated it it was amazing
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.
...more
Susann
Mar 02, 2008 Susann rated it it was amazing
Shelves: re-read, the-tomes
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
...more
Kari
Jan 05, 2013 Kari rated it liked it
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.
...more
Clarissa
Apr 14, 2013 Clarissa rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kami
Feb 07, 2017 Kami rated it really liked it
It was so good to go back to Deep Valley again! I'd never truly appreciated Carney's character, but reading this book has changed that for me. She's a lovely person to read about and really enjoyed her story. Mrs. Lovelace is definitely an excellent storyteller.
Patricia
Jul 17, 2015 Patricia rated it liked it
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
Alicia
Nov 23, 2013 Alicia rated it really liked it
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
Renee
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.
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What did you think of the characters in this one? 1 3 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
More about Maud Hart Lovelace...

Other Books in the Series

Deep Valley (3 books)
  • Emily of Deep Valley (Deep Valley, #2)
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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.”
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“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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