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Monday, November 29, 2010

Emily of Deep Valley

There are certain books that are defined as classics for a reason.

These are the books that you read more than once and often times read to your children as they grow to love and appreciate books.

Emily of Deep Valley by Mitali Perkins and Maud Hart Lovelace is one such timeless classic. This takes place in the early 1900's at a time where life was a whole lot different than it is today. I think that is what defines it to me as a classic. As I read this novel I was immediately reminded of Turner Classic Movies. This book fits the genre of such like

Emily Webster is an orphan living with her grandfather, who is 81. A former soldier of the war on Gettysburg, he often has lapses in his memory often asking Emily the same questions again after already asking them. She is the model of elegance, simply answering them as if it were the first time hearing them. She takes care of her grandfather ensuring that he has something to eat. If not for her, all he would eat is milk and bread.

Emily's best friend is Annette who is the belle of the ball so to speak. She has the best of everything from custom designed dresses, the boys are all fond of her, and she is the most popular of the girls. The interesting thing about Emily is she isn't jealous or envious of Annette. She merely sees it as a chance to see the other side of life.

She has an innocent view of life and desires better things for herself upon graduation from high school. She dreams of college and all the possibilities that it would offer her, but she lacks the financial means to make that happen. Even though her grandfather cares for her financial, Emily isn't about to ask. She is an honor student and dreams of changing the world. Just how she does that is contained within the beautiful written and illustrated pages of this book.

I received this book, compliments of Christian Fiction Blog Alliance for my honest review. I have to say I loved it. It takes you back to the time period of It's A Wonderful Life and the Baileys. Where faith and love are the foundations that make us what we are and define our character not the things that money can buy. I would rate this book a 5 out of 5 stars and it now has a permanent part in our home library and one I can't wait to read to my children and grandchildren as well.

For more information on this book, the author, and where to get a first chapter peek, please read on.
This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Emily of Deep Valley
Harper Perennial Modern Classics; Reprint edition (October 12, 2010)
Mitali Perkins


A word from Mitali: Who In The World Is Mitali Perkins?

That's a good question. I've been trying to figure it out myself, spending most of my life crossing borders.

I was born Mitali Bose in Kolkata (Calcutta), India, and always tried to live up to my name—which means “friendly” in the Bangla language. I had to! Because my family moved so much, it was the only way I could make new friends.

By the time I was 11, I'd lived in Ghana, Cameroon, London, New York and Mexico before settling in California just in time for middle school. Yep, I was the new kid again, in seventh grade, the year everybody barely makes it through.

My biggest lifeline during those early years was story. Books were my rock, my stability, my safe place as I navigated the border between California suburbia and the Bengali culture of my traditional home.

After studying political science at Stanford and public policy at U.C. Berkeley, I taught in middle school, high school and college. When I began to write fiction, my protagonists were often—not surprisingly—strong female characters trying to bridge different cultures.

Mitali Perkins is the author of several books for young people, including SECRET KEEPER (Random House), MONSOON SUMMER (Random House), RICKSHAW GIRL (Charlesbridge), and the FIRST DAUGHTER books (Dutton).


Often cited as Maud Hart Lovelace’s (of Betsy-Tacy fame) best novel, Emily of Deep Valley is now back in print, with a new foreword by acclaimed young adult author Mitali Perkins and new archival material about the characters’ real lives.

Emily Webster, an orphan living with her grandfather, is not like the other girls her age in Deep Valley, Minnesota. The gulf between Emily and her classmates widens even more when they graduate from Deep Valley High School in 1912. Emily longs to go off to college with everyone else, but she can’t leave her grandfather. Emily resigns herself to facing a “lost winter,” but soon decides to stop feeling sorry for herself. And with a new program of study, a growing interest in the Syrian community, and a handsome new teacher at the high school to fill her days, Emily gains more than she ever dreamed...

In addition to her beloved Betsy-Tracy books, Maud Hart Lovelace wrote three more stories set in the fictional town of Deep Valley: Winona’s Pony Cart, Carney’s House Party and Emily of Deep Valley. Longtime fans and new readers alike will be delighted to find the Deep Valley books available again for the first time in many years.

If you would like to browse inside Emily of Deep Valley, go HERE.


  1. what a wonderful review - and I quite agree with you about the classic timelessness of Emily's story. I hope this leads you to Maud Hart Lovelace's Betsy-Tacy series as well, and they're perfect to share with your children and grandchildren as they start when Betsy is five and go all the way up to her marriage.

  2. Great review. This book sounds really good!


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