I’ve just been reading the newly published edition of Maud Hart Lovlace’s Deep Valley, Minnesota novel, Carney’s House Party in which a group of college girlfriends, old and new, come together in the midwestern epitome of style and fashion for a house party, a month long sleepover with lots of picnics and teas and parties and dances and sight-seeing and good wholesome fun. Of course there’s romance, and lots of singing.
The house party sing and dance to this lovely tribute to the “flying machine.”
And these are two more songs that the orchestra plays at the “dance party” that the Crowd enjoys.
Sam, one of Carney’s two love interests, plays this song on his saxophone.
Besides the music, the other things I noticed while reading this book:
Carney is appalled and embarrassed that a boy that likes her dares to kiss her BEFORE they have an understanding or an engagement:
When they reached an elm tree so large and thickly leaved that its shadows defeated even Japanese lanterns, he stopped and kissed her.
Carney broke away from him. She was really angry now. It was possible to forgive what had happened the night before . . . they had both been wrought up. But this was different. It was inexcusable.
Wow! We’ve come a long way, baby, since 1912, and not in the right direction. Nowadays if the guy doesn’t make a pass at a girl, she might have a suspicion that he’s gay, or at last uninterested.
Carney’s House Party ends with Carney engaged to be married to the love of her life, but also returning to Vassar to finish her college degree before getting married. Back then, it seemed as if women definitely could “have it all.” And why not? Education, career (?), family, marriage. Just because it’s difficult to juggle everything doesn’t mean it’s not worth trying.
I am so fond of these new editions of Maud Hart Lovelace’s Deep Valley books that I’m planning to save them to give to a special daughter as Christmas presents. I may even buy some more copies so that I can give each of my lovely daughters their own set. (It’s OK. I don’t think they read the blog very thoroughly, if at all.)