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  • Authors After Dark Blog Blast April 10, 2014
    Authors After Dark is coming QUICKLY and OMG this year is going to be INSANE! As always AAD is about the readers, and the amount of awesome we have put together for you this year, you would be INSANE not to attend…. First, our amazing Master of Ceremonies is none other than Alexandra Ivy! SheRead more...
  • Getting slapped in the face with a message April 7, 2014
    AKA When the Universe Gives you a Gift you didn’t Know You Needed I spent this past weekend at the Washington Romance Writers annual retreat, In the Company of Writers. I didn’t go last year because I made a “business” decision that it wasn’t worth my dollars. I figured there were no readers there otherRead more...
  • Dirty talk by Rowan March 27, 2014
    “You like it?” He asked. “You liked having my dick in your mouth?” She blushed at his frank question, but found the bravery to lick her lips and nod. “Yes. I loved it.” “Good. I fucking loved it. I want you in my mouth soon. When you’re ready,” he amended. “Can’t wait to taste you.Read more...

Posts filed under:  The YA Downton Abbey

The YA Downton Abbey

I think it started on Twitter. Someone mentioned Downton Abbey. And then I kept seeing mentions and comments on Facebook and then it entered dinner conversation. It seemed every person I knew was becoming more obsessed with Downton Abbey.

It took me about a year to catch up, and I’m still not quite there yet, being only in the middle of Season One, but I finally watched the show. And I got it. Man did I. The writing, the scenery, the clothes. Ohmygod, the clothes. I love this show.

And yet something about it seemed oddly familiar. Especially the clothes, and then I realized I’d been reading a series set in this time period for years, the Betsy-Tacy Series by Maud Hart Lovelace. If you like Downton Abbey, you may also like Betsy Tacy. If you are a writer, you will love Betsy.

The books are a semi-autobiographical account of Maud’s (Betsy’s) life growing up in Mankato Minnesota at the turn of the century. The first four books are charming and for a younger audience, but as soon as she hits high school, the series gets really good. Maud describes the clothes and the music and life in the Middle West so beautifully and un-self-consciously, you feel you are a part of Betsy’s crowd going to the moving picture show, singing around a piano and seeing your first automobile.

When Betsy goes abroad her junior year of college in “Betsy and the Great World,” she brings Europe at the brink of WWI alive. In fact, the book served as a travel guide for me when I went to Venice, Munich and Paris.

So is this book truly the young adult Downton Abbey? Not really. The time period is the same, but Betsy offers an American middle class  view, whereas Downton Abbey is a British aristocratic or servant class view.

But for fans of truly great historical fiction, I highly recommend Betsy-Tacy. Tear through the first few, just to get a sense of the characters, then dive into the high school world. Other famous fans of the book include Judy Blume, Meg Cabot, and Bette Midler. Betsy even gets an obscure reference in the Meg Ryder movie- You’ve Got Mail.