Maud Hart Lovelace · 240 pages
Rating: (6.1K votes)
“She thought of the library, so shining white and new; the rows and rows of unread books; the bliss of unhurried sojourns there and of going out to a restaurant, alone, to eat.”
“Betsy returned to her chair, took off her coat and hat, opened her book and forgot the world again.”
“She tried to act as though it were nothing to go to the library alone. But her happiness betrayed her. Her smile could not be restrained, and it spread from her tightly pressed mouth, to her round cheeks, almost to the hair ribbons tied in perky bows over her ears.”
“The wastes of snow on the hill were ghostly in the moonlight. The stars were piercingly bright.”
“Betsy was so full of joy that she had to be alone. She went upstairs to her bedroom and sat down on Uncle Keith's trunk. Behind Tacy's house the sun had set. A wind had sprung up and the trees, their color dimmed, moved under a brooding sky. All the stories she had told Tacy and Tib seemed to be dancing in those trees, along with all the stories she planned to write some day and all the stories she would read at the library. Good stories. Great stories. The classics. Not Rena's novels.”
“Betsy liked to talk. Her father always said she got it from her mother, and her mother always said she got it from her father. But whomever she got it from she was certainly a talker.”
“Well, Betsy," he said, "your mother tells me that you are going to use Uncle Keith's trunk for a desk. That's fine. You need a desk. I've often noticed how much you like to write. The way you eat up those advertising tablets from the store! I never saw anything like it. I can't understand it though. I never write anything but checks myself. "
"Bob!" said Mrs. Ray. "You wrote the most wonderful letters to me before we were married. I still have them, a big bundle of them. Every time I clean house I read them over and cry."
"Cry, eh?" said Mr. Ray, grinning. "In spite of what your mother says, Betsy, if you have any talent for writing, it comes from family. Her brother Keith was mighty talented, and maybe you are too. Maybe you're going to be a writer."
Betsy was silent, agreeably abashed.
"But if you're going to be a writer," he went on, "you've got to read. Good books. Great books. The classics.”
“It looks like something out of Whittier's "Snowbound,"' Julia said. Julia could always think of things like that to say.”
“Betsy liked to read her stories aloud and she read them like an actress. She made her voice low and thrillingly deep. She made it shake with emotion. She laughed mockingly and sobbed wildly when the occasion required.”
“Julia was as happy as Betsy was, almost. One nice thing about Julia was that she rejoiced in other people's luck.”
“Come in early, so there'll be time to pop corn,' Mrs. Ray said. If she mentioned popping corn, they always came in early. So she usually mentioned it.”
“Betsy did not answer. She was a talker, her family always said, but sometimes when she most wanted to talk she couldn't say a word.”
“This going around with boys makes me sick," said Tacy.
"I like Herbert Humphreys," said Tib.
It was just like Tib to like a boy and say so.
"Oh, if you have to have a boy around, it might as well be Herbert," said Betsy, who liked him too.
"He wears cute clothes," said Tacy, blushing.
Herbert Humphreys, who had come to Deep Valley from St. Paul, wore knickerbockers. The other boys in their grade wore plain short pants.”
“Thoughts are such fleet magic things. Betsy's thoughts swept a wide arc while Uncle Keith read her poem aloud. She thought of Julia learning to sing with Mrs. Poppy. She thought of Tib learning to dance. She thought of herself and Tacy and Tib going into their 'teens. She even thought of Tom and Herbert and of how, by and by, they would be carrying her books and Tacy's and Tib's up the hill from high school.”
“Life was so short; so many beautiful things slipped away.”
“Striving to achieve a dream is never a waste of time.”
“I don't believe in hate. To me it wastes too much time. People who hate waste so much of their life hating that they miss out on all the other stuff out here.”
“Once you start changing a name, you see, there's no reason ever to stop. One always hears one that sounds better.”
“Heart lesson #3: post-heartbreak survival.
The heart is resilient, I mean literally. When a body is burned, the heart is the last organ to oxidize. While the rest of the body can catch flame like a polyester sheet on campfire, it takes hours to burn the heart to ash. My dear sister, a near-perfect organ! Solid, inflammable.”
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