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Carney's House Party / Winona's Pony Cart

(Deep Valley #1,3)

4.37  ·  Rating details ·  263 ratings  ·  37 reviews
Two of Maud Hart Lovelace's beloved Deep Valley books join the Harper Perennial Modern Classics library, next to other enduring favorites like A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, To Kill a Mockingbird and Lovelace's Betsy-Tacy books. This beautiful combination edition of Carney's House Party and Winona's Pony Cart features a foreword by author Melissa Wiley and a never-before-publis ...more
Paperback, 448 pages
Published October 12th 2010 by William Morrow Paperbacks (first published 2010)
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4.37  · 
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 ·  263 ratings  ·  37 reviews

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Initial read: June 2011 | Re-reads: March 2012, May 2014, April 2018

Review May 2014: I love Carney. I forget with these Deep Valley books how much I like Carney because I'm so wrapped up in Betsy's world that it's hard to relate to anyone else. But then I take a break and read this one and read about Carney and her insecurities and her feelings regarding Larry and then Sam, who really is a lovable baby hippo and how Carney is figuring out herself at the same time as these two guys are in the pic
Luisa Knight
I LOVED Carney's House Party!

Have you ever read a book with *you* in it? How about *you* AND your *spouse*? I happened to tell a friend I was going to read Carney's House Party and she told me it reminded her so much of Travis and I. What?! So of course I spent the next few hours reading it ... and thought so too!

How fun to find your couple's doppelganger!

Cleanliness: Mentions a brewery, cigar, poker. "Good gracious" "jiminy" "what-in-ell" "heavens" "Gee" "gosh" "golly" "heck" "goodness" "shucks
Marcy Wynhoff
OK I got this as a end of chemo celebration book. Being the fan I am of Betsy/Tacy I had never read the other books feeling I might be a traitor to Betsy!! Oh Dear. Every bit as good. A few little old fashioned sexist stuff in Carney's House party, but totally wonderful writing and a great story. Winona?? All I can say is: Kindred Spirit! Am now moving on to Emily of Deep Valley. I'm in Heaven.
Aug 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Oh, how I love thee, Maud Hart Lovelace! Carney's House Party is a stand-alone book in the Betsy-Tacy collection about one of Betsy's best high-school friends, Carney Sibley. Many of our old favorites appear in this book, as well as some fun new characters. The Betsy-Tacy books are quaint, old-fashioned, and wholesome. But so what? So are a lot of other books, and most of them are boring. Lovelace has something else going on which enlivens the quaintness and old-fashioned wholesomeness. A lot of ...more
Logan Hughes
Dec 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-readers
It's odd that these are in the same volume; other than being short books in the Betsy Ray universe where the star is not Betsy, they're not really related.

"Winona's Pony Cart" takes place in the Betsy-Tacy childhood; it's a cute but not very memorable story, and I can't think of much to say about it.

"Carney's House Party" is one of my favorite Deep Valley books. Carney Sibley, one of the medium-important members of Betsy's Crowd from high school, is a very different sort of hero from Betsy. She
Kris Dersch
May 22, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: kidslit
A fun additional read for fans of Betsy and Tacy who want to spend more time in their world. Be sure to read the originals first.
One thing I like about having these two together in one is that in my head I divide the Betsy-Tacy books into two groups: the first four books of the series, when the girls are little, and then the final six, the high school/adult books. These two hit both of those eras. First you have the little girls, messing around at Winona's birthday party as they are at the age w
May 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was my second time reading "Carney's House Party" and I enjoyed it so much more than the first time. It fits in perfectly right after "Betsy and Joe" and I love Carney's matter-of-fact personality and her wisdom and honesty with others and herself. MHL's male romantic interests are always flawed (except for Emily's Jed, it seems) and to be fair I don't entirely agree with Carney's choice... but I was rooting for her no matter what.
Rachel Piper
Nov 05, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook
Basically, Carney realizes she wants to marry someone who's already rich and therefore doesn't need to think about work or be ambitious. BUT I enjoyed reading this in true chronological order — after Betsy & Joe, before Betsy & the Great World.
Katie Fitzgerald
This review of Winona's Pony Cart also appears on my blog, Read-at-Home Mom.

Winona's Pony Cart is the third of the three Betsy-Tacy spin-offs, but the second one I have read, due to it and Carney's House Party being published together in the same volume. The novel was published prior to Betsy's Wedding, but is set much earlier, when Winona is about to turn eight years old. What Winona wants more than anything is a pony, and despite the fact that her father has said she can't have one, she has de
Nov 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 01, 2012 rated it liked it
Maud Hart Lovelace's Betsy-Tacy books were among my favorites as a child and young teen, and I was thrilled when the four high-school Betsy-Tacy novels and two "adult Betsy" stories were re-issued in 2009 as two-in-one volumes. However, Lovelace also wrote a couple of "spinoff" novels featuring characters introduced in those books, and those have always been harder to find. Harper Perennial has now reissued those as well, in editions that match last year's reprints and including new forewords an ...more
Laura Kilmartin
Feb 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
J. Boo
Aug 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommended to J. by: Emily
Picked this up at the library after seeing Emily's review of "Carney's House Party"; I hadn't read anything by Lovelace before and didn't entirely realize it this was an adjunct to the Betsy-Tacy series (or, for that matter, that such a thing existed). I don't think reading it "cold" impacted my enjoyment, which was considerable.(*)

Lovelace, more than any author I have ever read, has her finger directly on the pulse of What a Girl Wants, and the plot of both of these books reflects this.

Winona i
Christine Marie
May 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Little House, Anne of Green Gables, Classics, Children's, turn-of-the-century fans
Recommended to Christine by: Heather Vogel Frederick
I received a copy of this book from my friend, because our local library does not have this book and I really didn't want to have to order it online. I am extremely grateful that she was able to get me a copy.

What a wonderful continuation of the adventures of Betsy and Tacy.

Let me start with Carney's House Party: What a sweet book! Very enjoyable and another satisfying Betsy-Tacy. I mean, if you want to know more, just look at my reviews for the Betsy-Tacy books because they really had the same
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Hannah • So Obsessed With
Apr 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2014
Carney's House Party: This story was so sweet, and I really enjoyed reading it! I still love the Betsy-Tacy series the most, but this was an excellent addition to the Deep Valley books. I'm glad Lovelace fleshed out Carney even more in this book, and the notes at the back (about how much of this story was inspired by Lovelace's real-life friends) was one of my favorite parts of the book.

Winona's Pony Cary: While this book was fun, it lacked the charm of the earlier Betsy-Tacy books. It was a swe
Feb 07, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: classic, juv, 1900s
Set just before Carney's junior year at Vassar, this first novel in this 2-story book features members of the Crowd and their adventures from a perspective other than Betsy's. Carney hosts a two-week-long house party, with the usual high spirits and capers. Carney, however, is nervous about seeing her long-time beau/pen pal Larry Humphries, who is coming back to Deep Valley for a visit, and worries that her college roommate Isobel, visiting from the East, will not fit in. And Sam Hutchinson is i ...more
Jun 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
This was a bit weird to read - the Carney part takes place when the characters are all in college, while the Winona part takes place years earlier. In each, Betsy Root makes an appearance (in Winona, Tacy and Tib also appear), but these aren't part of the Betsy-Tacy canon.

Readers will enjoy this look at early-1900s Vassar and Minnesota - it's not "historical fiction" because the author lived through those times, and it reads as an unforced look back. The customs, costumes, traditions and differe
2016: Carney's House Party: I enjoyed as much as the later Betsy-Tacy books. Similarly to their high school descriptions, I enjoyed the somewhat contemporary (women's) college life descriptions, and all their singing and dancing for entertainment.
2016: Winona's Pony Cart: similar feel to the earlier Betsy-Tacy books, although interesting to see a different perspective as Betsy, Tacy and Tib are background characters, plus the inclusion of young Dennie who appears in the high school books. It als
Nov 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
Lovelace revisits some of the favorite side characters in these two novels. In the first, Carney, home from Vassar, has a lengthy house party that reunites Bonnie, Carney, Winona, Betsy along with a Vassar friend and the various male characters we met in earlier books. The book revolves around the impending visit of Hugh, Carney's old flame, and her interest in a new boy in town.

"Winona's Pony" is a cute story of Winona's eighth birthday where her mother is surprised by extra guests that Winona
Aug 18, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: high-school
Carney's House Party: This is the summer of reunion and fun, and figuring out how she truly feels about her old beau, Larry Humphreys. Carney meets a rich young man named Sam Hutchinson who ruffles Carney a bit. Sam also interacts with Carney's younger brothers so well. Will Sam turn Carney's heart?

Winona's Pony Cart: This story is good for the kids between 6-9 years old. Follow mischievous and fun-larking Winona turning 8 and how she ended up with a pony for her birthday. It's fun to see Betsy,
Mar 31, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011, childrens
Two fun books about some of the other characters in the Betsy-Tacy books. Carney's House Party is set after high school, and in between Betsy and Joe and Betsy and the Great World, while Winona's Pony Cart is set during childhood. Carney's House Party is the more interesting book; lots of interesting stuff about Carney and a great window on Betsy. It's fun to see Betsy through the eyes of someone else in the Crowd, and gives more detail about why Carney ended up with who she ended up with. I als ...more
Nov 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
I really liked Carney's house party. I wasn't actually much of a Carney fan before this book-I liked getting to know her better. I'm not much of a Winona fan this book reinforced that. I was surprised when she became part of The Crowed in high school- now I understand better that it wasn't the same girl.
Jun 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I read these while on the road while in need of comfort books, and they were EXACTLY what I needed. Deep Valley is one of my favorite fictional (well, sort of) places to spend time.

Also, like Jasmine said, it was awesome seeing Betsy from other POVs, especially Carney's.


(read: 44 and 45)
Dec 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: classics
So much fun.

It was a blast to slip back to the Crowd's younger days, but Carney's House Party was the real draw for me. I loved seeing some of the college life at the time and how that influenced Carney's view of life at home. Plus, Sam the baby hippo!
Nov 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
The date is a guess, but I loved the Betsy/Tacy series as a young teen. And I read Carney's House Party. Deep Valley is Mankato, MN. So this must have appeared on my site because I am reading the Faith Sullivan series set in a much smaller MN town.
Book Club Girl
Dec 01, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Two of Maud Hart Lovelace's Deep Valley books, that feature characters from her beloved Betsy-Tacy series, these books focus on Carney during the summer between her freshman and sophomore year at Vassar College and on Winona, in her younger years.
Stephanie Lucianovic
Feb 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: re-reading
Loved these hard-to-find stories.
Jun 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Didn't want it to end!
Especially loved all the extra "goodies" about the real people behind the characters.
Meredith Henning
I think I liked this one even better than Emily of Deep Valley, but they are close runners :)
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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

Other books in the series

Deep Valley (3 books)
  • Carney's House Party (Deep Valley, #1)
  • Emily of Deep Valley (Deep Valley, #2)
  • Winona's Pony Cart (Deep Valley, #3)