Emily of Deep Valley: A Deep Valley Book

Emily of Deep Valley: A Deep Valley Book

by Maud Hart Lovelace


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"I never grow tired of cheering for Emily, and neither will a new generation of readers."—Mitali Perkins, author of You Bring the Distant Near, finalist for the National Book Award

This standalone novel by the author of the beloved Betsy-Tacy series, Emily of Deep Valley is set in Betsy Ray's Deep Valley and tells the story of a young woman who longs to go off to college following her high school graduation, but whose family commitments demand she stay close to home. Resigning herself to a "lost winter," Emily nonetheless throws herself into a new program of study and a growing interest in the local Syrian immigrant community, and when she meets a handsome new teacher at the high school, gains more than she ever dreamed possible. Maud Hart Lovelace's only young adult standalone novel, Emily of Deep Valley is considered to be one of the author's finest works.

This edition includes a foreword by acclaimed young adult author Mitali Perkins, compelling historical material about the real people who inspired Lovelace’s beloved characters and a biography of illustrator Vera Neville, whose original cover illustration is featured on the cover.

“I re-read these books every year.” —Laura Lippman

“There are three authors whose body of work I have reread more than once over my adult life: Charles Dickens, Jane Austen and Maud Hart Lovelace.” —Anna Quindlen

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062003300
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 10/12/2010
Series: P.S. Series
Pages: 290
Sales rank: 752,026
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

About the Author

Maud Hart Lovelace (1892-1980) based her Betsy-Tacy series on her own childhood. Her series still boasts legions of fans, many of whom are members of the Betsy-Tacy Society, a national organization based in Mankato, Minnesota.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

The Last Day of High School

“It's the last day of high school . . . ever,” Annette said.

She said it gaily, swinging Emily's hand and pulling her about so that they faced the red brick building with its tall arched windows and doors, its elaborate limestone trimming, its bulging turrets and the cupola that made an ironical dunce's cap on top of all. Annette threw a kiss at it, then lifted her right hand and opened and shut the fingers in a playful wave.

“Good-by, old jail!” she said.

“Don't you dare call the Deep Valley High School a jail!” Emily's tone was joking but there was warmth in it, too. “Besides, we'll be coming back for Class Day!”

“It won't be the same!” Annette tilted her little dark head on which a complicated structure of puffs and curls was protected by a net and held in place by a ribbon. She smiled up engagingly. “You're sorry, aren't you, Em?”

“Yes, I am.”

“I'm not, a bit. That's funny, isn't it? When I've had so much more . . . that is, when I've had so much fun here.”

Emily knew what she had started to say . . . “When I've had so much more fun than you have.” It was true that Annette had been a belle, and Emily certainly hadn't. But she loved the high school more than Annette possibly could.

“I've been happy here,” she said.

It had been a refuge for her. Staring up at the cupola roof, outlined against the blue May sky, she thought affectionately of the hubbub in the Social Room at noon intermission . . . so different from the brooding silence of her home. She thought of the fun she had had with the girls, of the companionship she had known in classrooms, ofthe joyful challenge she had found in debating on the Assembly Room platform. Emily was on the star debating team which had won the Southern Minnesota Championship for two years running. And there had been parties, too, like last night's Junior-Senior banquet.

“Wasn't the banquet wonderful?” she asked, as she and Annette started down Walnut Street. The high school stood on the corner of Walnut and High. Walnut descended a steep hill, following terraced lawns. There were snowy drifts of bridal wreath around almost all the houses, and birds were as busy as seniors, full of talk and song.

“Marvelous!” answered Annette. “Of course . . .” she laughed contentedly, “I had my hands full. Did you notice how sulky Jim Baxter was because I came with Don?”“I certainly did.”

“Did you really have fun?” Annette looked pleased but puzzled. And Emily knew that she couldn't understand why the Junior-Senior banquet had seemed wonderful to Emily when she hadn't even come with a boy.

But it had. The familiar battered halls transformed by bunting, flags and balloons; the dinner, formally served by excited junior girls; the speeches by Miss Bangeter, the principal, and by the junior and senior class presidents'Hunter Sibley of the Class of 1912 had done a wonderful job. And the dancing! That had been best of all!

Emily didn't go to many high school dances. It wasn't customary to go unless a boy invited you. But even unattached girls came to the Junior-Senior banquet, and it had been thrilling to hear the music of piano and violin and to join the maze of rhythmically moving figures.

She had danced a number of times'with Hunter, and other class officers; she was treasurer of the class. Moreover, Don Walker had danced with her.

He had done it, probably, because he had come with Annette, who was Emily's second cousin. But it had seemed a breathless boon to Emily that she should dance with Don before high school was over'closed like the covers of a book that could never be read again no matter how much one might wish to do so. They were on the debating team together, and she had a special feeling for him.

Tall and rangy in ankle-length skirts, her curly hair woven into a braid which was turned up with a ribbon, Emily walked smilingly beside her pretty cousin. Annette was so small that she often made Emily feel hulking, and Annette was so pretty'with her sparkling eyes and staccato birdlike movements'that she always made Emily feel plain. Emily wasn't plain, exactly, but her face was serious. She was shy and quiet, although her blue eyes, set in a thicket of lashes under heavy brows, often glinted with fun. Both boys and girls liked her.

“Emily isn't a lemon,” she had once overheard Annette say heatedly. Annette and Gladys Dunn had been planning some boy and girl party in the cloakroom and Emily had stumbled in. She had escaped without being seen, but she had never forgotten Annette's blunt defense of her.

It was true, she decided later. She wasn't what the high school called a lemon. But she had never learned to joke and flirt with boys. Or perhaps boys just didn't joke and flirt with a girl who lived with her grandfather in a funny old house across the slough.

Walnut crossed Broad Street and Second and went on to Front, the business thoroughfare, which paralleled the river. The girls were nearing Front when they heard a clatter behind them and the sound of shoe leather sliding along the cement walk.

“Hi, there! Wait!”

They turned to see handsome Hunter Sibley and Ellen, his girl, hand in hand, along with Fred Muller and Scid Edwards and Don. At the sight of Don's tall erect figure Emily felt the small tumult which he always created in her heart.

“How about stopping at Heinz's?” called Scid. “Celebrate the last day of school?”Annette smiled at Don. “But Em and I have to try on our graduating dresses.”

“And Hunter has to practise his oration in the Opera House,” put in Ellen, sounding proud.

“Me, too,” said Don. “I'm a bright boy, too.” He had a deep resonant voice.“How about you, Em?” asked Hunter.

“I'm practising mine tomorrow.”

“You Honor Roll people!” jibed Scid. “You walking encyclopedias! You grinds!”

Hunter grinned. “Don and I could meet you at Heinz's afterward,” he said. “Even intellectual giants like us eat ice cream; don't they, Emily?”

Emily of Deep Valley. Copyright © by Maud Lovelace. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Table of Contents

The Last Day of High School
Emily's Slough
Class Day
Decoration Day
Commencement Day
Under the Locust Tree
They All Go Away
The Slough of Despond
Hair Up
Emily Musters Her Wits
Crack the Whip
Poetry, Music, and Dance
"The Sweetheart of Sigma Chi"
A Christmas Party
Old Year into New
The Wrestling Champs
Supper with Miss Fowler
Mr. Jed
Webster Talks a Few
Don Comes to Call
Under the Locust Tree Again

What People are Saying About This

Mary Kay Andrews

“Pure bliss.... I now realize that one of the reasons I believed I could someday become a writer was because of Betsy’s own infallible confidence that she would be a writer.”

Nora Ephron

“The Betsy-Tacy books were among my favorites when I was growing up.”

Ann M. Martin

“I am fairly certain that my independent, high-spirited grandmother must have had a childhood similar to Betsy Ray’s…As I read..., I felt that I was having an unexpected and welcome peek into Granny’s childhood-a gift to me from Maud Hart Lovelace.”

Bette Midler

“I read every one of these Betsy-Tacy-Tib books twice. I loved them as a child, as a young adult, and now, reading them with my daughter, as a mother. What a wonderful world it was!”

Anna Quindlen

“There are three authors whose body of work I have reread more than once over my adult life: Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, and Maud Hart Lovelace.”

Judy Blume

“Some characters become your friends for life. That’s how it was for me with Betsy-Tacy.”

Meg Cabot

“Slipping into a Betsy book is like slipping into a favorite pair of well-worn slippers: It’s always a pleasure to live in Betsy’s world for a little while, to experience her simple joys, but also her (thankfully short-lived) sorrows.”

Laura Lippman

“I re-read these books every year, marveling at how a world so quaint—shirtwaists! Pompadours! Merry Widow hats!—can feature a heroine who is undeniably modern.”

Claudia Mills

“I truly consider BETSY AND TACY GO DOWNTOWN to be the finest novel in the English language! I will never love any other books as much as I love the Betsy-Tacy books.”

Esther Hautzig

“Family loyalty and the devotion of friends to one another, which for me are the defining characteristics of the Betsy-Tacy stories.”

Customer Reviews

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Emily of Deep Valley: A Deep Valley Book 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In Deep Valley, Minnesota, orphan Emily Webster lives with her Grandpa Webster. Like other girls in the class of 1912 at the high school she attends and now graduating, she has dreams of going to college. However, she not only owes her elderly relative for taking her in, she feels strongly that she must not leave her beloved Grandpa Webster alone; thus she remains outside of the Crowd. Although she expects a cold "lost winter" Emily vows to keep active. She works hard studying and is fascinated with the culture of the nearby Syrian community. However, it is the new high school teacher Jed Wakeman who has Emily dreaming once again of being all that she can be. One of the three Deep Valley stand alone stories (see Carney's House Party and Winona's Pony Cart), Emily's tale is a reprint of a warm Americana tale. Emily is a fabulous individual who initially feels sorry for herself but comes out of her funk when she decides to make herself a better person while she suffers through the "lost winter" as her few friends go to college. Jed is a nice person studying for his Masters in sociology. However it is the "bad boy" Don Walker who danced with Emily and somewhat steals the show with his scorning intelligence as he purposely butchers Browning and his mocking speech at high school commencement. With humor and pathos Maud Hart Lovelace brings to life the seemingly innocence of 1912 Minnesota when a teen smoking a cigarette means juvenile delinquent. Harriet Klausner
bookloverDM More than 1 year ago
This is a must read for women of all ages... You will be inspired by Emily Webster's triumph over depression and circumstance.
CatloverSallie More than 1 year ago
I'm dancing with delight at the reissue of one of my favorite books of all time! I've loved this book since I first read my sister's copy back in the early 1960s. Emily's despair at the beginning of the book at not being able to go on to college after high school, how she "muster's her wits" to find her own way and find joy in her life again, as well as meeting Mr. Jed are a compelling story beautifully written. I've pre-ordered my copy of these wonderful reissues with the original cover art by Vera Neville.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have read this book so many times, I've lost count. Each time I read it, it touches my heart. Emily lives in early 20th century Deep Valley. She is almost an outsider with her classmates. After her high school graduation, she strives to make up what she's lost by not going to college. Read it and you will feel like a different person.
Florinda on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
While characters from Maud Hart Lovelace's Betsy-Tacy series make guest appearances in this novel, Emily of Deep Valley stands on its own; perhaps that's why I'd never read it until now, although I've read nearly all of the author's other books multiple times. This is genuinely a case of "better late than never," though. I'm pleased to have finally made the acquaintance of Emily Webster. We met while I was nursing a dislocated shoulder for the second time this year, and her story was a perfect comfort read.Emily isn't another version of Betsy Ray, and her Deep Valley, Minnesota isn't the same as Betsy's either. Orphaned Emily was raised by her grandparents, and is her grandfather's primary caretaker now that her grandmother has passed on. She has plenty of girl friends, but is neither boy-crazy nor a boy-magnet, although she is respected by her fellow members of the Deep Valley High School debate team, where she's the only girl. As she approaches the end of senior year, Emily has reluctantly accepted that her responsibilities at home will keep her from going off to college like the rest of her crowd, but she's really not sure what to expect from life after high school. Struggling to keep her wits and spirits up as the summer ends and her friends leave town, Emily hatches a few projects that take her in unanticipated directions, enlarging her world and bringing new people into it.Because she's grown up in different circumstances, Emily has a maturity that Betsy didn't have at the same age, although she still has some growing up to do, and her first year after high school affords her many opportunities to do that, even without college. Her challenges are different from Betsy's as well, as is the way she rises to meet them. I found her to be determined, sympathetic, and endearing, and I was particularly charmed by her relationship with her grandfather, who seems to be as energized by Emily's projects as she is. Lovelace introduces some memorable characters in this novel as she writes about life in her well-known town from a new perspective, but she allows Emily to mingle with some familiar players as well. As noted, this is a stand-alone novel, but if you've read the Betsy-Tacy books, it's enjoyable to see how some of the characters from those become part of Emily's story.Emily of Deep Valley is a coming-of-age novel for all ages, and despite its early-20th-century setting, doesn't feel dated. I found it a joy to read, and it will go on my "keeper" shelf with my other Maud Hart Lovelace books.
bremmd on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I missed out on Betsy -Tacy when I was young but thoroughly made up for it when my daughter was little. I read the adventures of Betsy, Tacy, Tib, and all their friends and family. I can¿t count the times I would be the one to say ¿Let¿s read Betsy-Tacy tonight¿. Luckily for me she was always game. But somehow we never advanced to the books when Betsy was older and we completely missed the other Deep Valley books. Boy, were we missing something good.Thanks to Book Club Girl a grievous error has been remedied. I won a copy of Emily of Deep Valley in prep for Book Club Girl¿s Blog Talk Radio interview with Mitali Perkins (who wrote the forward to the reissue of Emily of Deep Valley) and Melissa Wiley (who wrote the forward to Carney¿s House Party/Winona¿s Pony Cart). The interview was on Monday (I thought it was today sorry for the late notice) and you can listen to it at Book Club Girls Blog.All I can say is ¿Thank you, ladies¿! I didn¿t know what I was missing and I was missing something wonderful. I have mentioned before I¿m not a big reader of Young Adult novels but I do have a love of the old school YA. I can read any of the Anne of Green Gables or Little House books any time. And now the Deep Valley books join my old friends.Emily is a girl after my own heart. The disappointments she feels I remember well. When Mitali Perkins writes in her forward ¿Yes, Emily has many likable character traits, but unlike Betsy, she isn¿t best friend material at all. Why not, you may be wondering? Well, because Emily is me.¿ I know exactly what Mitali means because Emily is me, too. I understand so much of what Emily felt, of what she longed for. Even now, more years than I care to count after being Emily¿s age, I still remember the feelings of not quite fitting in and trying to find her place in the world.And on top of all that, it¿s a wonderful story. I¿ve already order the next Deep Valley book, which has Carney¿s House Party and Winona¿s Pony Cart and I expect to love them just as much. I don¿t think I¿m wrong in suggesting that you all go out and get these books for the little girls in your life and heck, pick up a copy for yourself. I¿m sure you won¿t be disappointed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I totally love this book!!! This is a great book by a great author.
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