Tuesday, December 6, 2011

First Quotes of Each Book

Anyone who has ever written anything, knows how hard it can be to begin. Within the first chapter of a book the author usually seeks to engage the audience, set the tone for the piece to follow, and introduce the characters and setting. With this in mind, I thought it might be fun to see all of Maud's beginnings to her Betsy-Tacy and Deep Valley books. Which is your favorite? I think I love the opening of Betsy-Tacy most, since that's what started it all.

It was difficult, later, to think of a time when Betsy and Tacy had not been friends.
Betsy-Tacy and Tib: 
Betsy and Tacy and Tib were three little girls who were friends.
Betsy and Tacy Go Over the Big Hill: 
Betsy, Tacy, and Tib were nine years old, and they were very anxious to be ten.
Winona's Pony Cart:
Winona Root and her pug dog Toodles were sitting on the wall which hemmed in one side of the large Root lawn.
Betsy and Tacy Go Downtown: 
Betsy was sitting in the backyard maple, high among spreading branches that were clothed in rich green except at their tips where they wore the first gold of September.
Heaven to Betsy:
Betsy was visiting at the Taggarts' farm. It was Wednesday, and soon the kitchen would swim with warm, delicious odors.
Betsy in Spite of Herself:
"Just a few lines to open the record of my sophomore year. Isn't it mysterious to begin a new journal like this? I can run my fingers through the fresh clean pages but I cannot guess what the writing on them will be. […]"
Betsy Was a Junior
Betsy Ray sat in a rowboat which was anchored in Babcock's Bay, two watery miles opposite Murmuring Lake Inn, where the Ray family had been spending the summer.
Betsy and Joe:
At the top of Agency Hill, Betsy Ray turned Old Mag off the road into the shade of an elm.
Emily of Deep Valley:
"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, it's bulging turrets and the cupola that made an ironical dunce's cap on top of all.
Carney's House Party:
Carney was climbing Sunset Hill. 
    Far below she could hear a group of her classmates, like herself just released from examinations, singing as they strolled beside the brook. 
Betsy and the Great World
"Down to Gehenna or up to the Throne,
He travels the fastest who travels alone."
Betsy was chanting it under he breath to give her courage, as laden with camera, handbag, umbrella, and Complete Pocket Guide to Europe, she started up the gangplank to the deck of the S.S. Columbic.
Betsy's Wedding:
Almost choked with excitement and joy, Betsy Ray leaned against the railing as the S.S. Richmond sailed serenely into New York City's inner harbor.


  1. Oh, by far, Betsy and the Great World. I love that book.

  2. Yeah, I like that quote at the beginning. :D

  3. The opening line from Betsy-Tacy is my favorite one - although it's not my favorite book. It just sets the scene so well, I think.

  4. Betsy and the Great World is tied with Betsy's Wedding for my favorite opening (and my favorite books, along with Betsy and Joe), but Betsy-Tacy's first line always gives me goosebumps, because as you said, that line started it all.

  5. Betsy and the Great World is my favorite beginning, mostly due to the fact that my goal at age 14 or whatever was to become Betsy and travel the world (that's a lie. It didn't stop at age 14 :))

  6. Just found your site and I love it! :) My favorite opening line is from Betsy in Spite of Herself... I've always loved a fresh, new journal!