Betsy's Wedding (novel)

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First edition
(publ. Thomas Y. Crowell Co.)

Betsy's Wedding (1955) is the tenth and final book in the Betsy-Tacy series written by Maud Hart Lovelace. Set in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the book tells the story of the early married life of the main character, Betsy Ray, and her high-school sweetheart. The characters of Tacy Kelly and Tib Muller also recur in this novel, as they did in all the novels covering the high-school years.

Plot summary[edit]

Betsy returns to New York from her European trip, where Joe Willard is waiting for her. He wants to take her to Tiffany's and buy an engagement ring, but the more practical Betsy suggests he buys a wedding band instead.

Betsy takes a train to Minneapolis, where her parents and younger sister are now living. She breaks the news of her engagement to her family, who are appalled that Joe wants to marry Betsy without first asking her father and without having a job in Minnesota. Her father is very upset. He thinks that Joe should have a job. When Joe arrives, Betsy tells him that her father is uncomfortable about him not having a job when they get married. He immediately drives from newspaper office to newspaper office before finding a job on a publicity campaign to help the victims of World War I. Betsy's father respects Joe's go-getter attitude and allows the wedding to proceed.

Joe and Betsy purchase an apartment and Betsy struggles with her domestic duties at first, but eventually succeeds. As time passes, Betsy and Joe are able to purchase a home. Joe's widowed aunt comes to live with them, which Betsy resents at first (she had been hoping for a baby) but eventually enjoys the company and stories, especially when Joe begins working the night shift helping a newspaper go to print. Meanwhile, Betsy and Tacy unite to try to find a husband for Tib. They find Mr.Bagshaw at first, who appears to be a very good dancer. It seems to work. Then when Mr.Bagshaw proposes Tib turns it down. Betsy and Tacy are glad because otherwise Tib would have gone away. Then they find Rocky, who they meet at a club. But Betsy and Tacy get scared, for Rocky is terrible to Tib. Finally Rocky leaves. Tib finds a soldier and they fall in love.

As the book ends, America enters World War I and Joe goes to an officer's training camp. Betsy returns to her parents' home to live with them for the duration of the war. Before Joe leaves, they are able to attend Tib's wedding and enjoy their final days together.


  • Maud Hart Lovelace (1955), Betsy's Wedding, HarperCollins