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Understood Betsy Paperback – December 1, 1996
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“As satisfying in its evocation of an earlier, simpler way of life as Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House books, and psychologically more acute.” ― The New York Times Book Review
“A book that will continue to warm readers well into the next millennium.” ―Riverbank Review
“[A] delightful and heartwarming classic.” ―Children's Literature--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
About the Author
Dorothy Canfield Fisher was a pioneer in children's literature. In addition to writing more than fifty books for children, including The Home-Maker and Understood Betsy, she was a co-founder of the Book-of-the-Month Club and a key reviewer for The New York Times. While Ms. Fisher lived most of her life in New York City, she retained an enormous affection for the hills of Vermont, where she was raised. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Top customer reviews
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It stars off slowly, describing in great detail the living situation of the lead character Elizabeth (an orphan) and how doting and over protective her aunt Francis is. It goes into great detail about how the city dwelling aunts are pale and frightened, and unable to do anything for themselves. Their 'girl' who helps them is badly asthmatic and always coughing (mentioned several times) Then one aunt gets hospitalized and Aunt Francis goes to take care of her, and Elizabeth gets sent to live with the country dwelling aunts and uncle.
From the second she is in contact with the country relatives Elizabeth begins to learn and understand and grow and blossom and overcome her fears and gain competence and confidence and become a most wonderful young woman. The country aunts and uncle and school are absolutely perfect with children and can do absolutely nothing wrong. When pale cowardly incompetent Aunt Francis finally returns to take Elizabeth back it is revealed she doesn't really want Elizabeth she just wants to go live her own life, and Elizabeth (of course) would rather stay with the perfect family in the country.
Even for a children's book it is contrived and hollow. City= cowardly, sickly, and authoritarian. Country = competent, healthy, wise, and perfect.
She write of a young girl loved, but very coddled by her over protective aunts who are raising her because she is orphaned. Something happened where she winds up with her cousins in Vermont, people who her aunts frown upon for they seem "cold" in their views of raising children.
Well nothing could be further from the truth. Betsy's Vermont experience teaches her how to use her brain to problem solve, how to make decisions, how to think for herself... And for the first time ever Betsy no longer fears life from her aunts fearful perspective, but she is happy and finds the true meaning of love. She really finds herself and likes who she is. I highly recommend this book!!
I sez, i am very greatful that you ladies invited her today, on my birthday. She brought me home with her. And loves me. Did I do something right?
This lady escaped hitlerz youth army to give birth to me in ft lewis and i grew up to be SSWZ and JB. I had massive awesome relatives aroun the world. Hey amazon, my dna is next. open yer cash drawer.
I read this aloud to my 8 year old daughter. It worked well for that although at times the emotional content made me cry. She liked to hear about everything Betsy-related and I enjoyed the book also. I would recommend to anyone who may have children interested in a classic or who would like to hear/read about children their own ages (8-10?). Personally, it made me think about giving my daughter more responsibility. Bring a hanky (good tears mostly)!
nd couldn't resist the temptation to purchase. I enjoyed it just as much as I did when I first read it more years ago than I care to remember.
Orphaned as a baby, Betsey is taken in by her flighty maiden aunts. Totally smothered by their overly protective, but well intentioned determination to mother her, Betsey grows into a frail and timid little girl who completely relies on her "Dear Aunt Frances " .
When one of the aunts is taken ill, Betsey is sent to live with cousins the aunts heartily disapproved of. There she begins a journey of self discovery and learns many lessons about life, people and relationships.
I enjoyed the book because it turns the tables on the notion that the grown ups are always right.