Monday, June 18, 2012

The Vicar's Daughter - Reprise

Since Betty Keira is on vacation this week, I volunteered to post the reprise of the week - which I am totally happy to do.  

I love The Vicar's Daughter - in spite of the tragic death of two of The Least Deserving of Dying in a Tragic Motor Fatality parents in Neeldom.  There are so many other candidates in the canon that I would rather have suffer a vehicular fatality - but I guess that's why I'm not an author, I would have a hard time dishing out the angst.  

Enjoy!
Betty Debbie
 http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_kWG300O9F4M/TFoX5aydshI/AAAAAAAAB8M/VSNZjr_8Efk/s1600/the+vicar%27s+daughter.jpg

Yay! I get to review a book that I really enjoy! The Vicar's Daughter might very well make it onto my top ten Neels list.
Professor Gijs van Kessel
is enjoying a relaxing drive in the country late one evening, when suddenly a girl pops out in front of him and flags him down. Margo Pearson, 28 year-old parson's daughter, is helping with the delivery of a baby - after all, she's got her First Aid merit badge or something. Gijs grabs his doctor bag and crawls into the tent with Margo and the laboring girl. Non-squeamish Margo is actually very helpful - including following the "put your hand here and keep it steady" post-partum instructions.
Margo Pearson is the epitome of my favorite Neels heroine. Plucky, pragmatic, resourceful, sensible...I love her. A lot. I also love Gijs. He's kind, thoughtful, handy to have around in an emergency, and pretty darn direct.
Margo is an only child. Her father is the vicar (maybe you already guessed that from the title?), Margo and her mum are his able assistants. Margo has been drifting into potential marriage with pig farmer George Merridew. George has been courting her cautiously with a view to eventual marriage with the grudging blessing of his overbearing mother. Mrs. Merridew thinks that as a vicar's daughter, Margo would be a suitable wife for her boy - after some moulding. Unfortunately for George, Margo is not a girl to be moulded. And frankly, after seeing Gijs, Margo knows that prosaic, pig-farming George is not the man for her. She doesn't have any illusions about her looks, or rather, lack of them, but she does wish she had looks that would make men look twice and remember her. Professor van Kessel does remember her...as a small girl without fear, sensible and bossy. Ouch. That's not what Margo has in mind.
Sir William, local bigwig, asks Margo if she will take his granddaughter to London. No problemo. Margo takes Imogen to her aunts house...Imogen's young cousin is being seen by a paediatric specialist...none other than Professor van Kessel. Professor RDD offers to take Margo home in an hour. During which hour, Margo is ignored by the household staff and practically starves to death. The Prof. offers to buy her some lunch, since he missed his too (he's fibbing - he just had lamb cutlets and some substantial apple tart at the hospital - see, I told you he was kind). Margo endears herself to the doctor by just ordering an omelette and salad.
Back at the vicarage in time for a substantial tea, Professor Doctor Gijs van Kessel endears himself to me by inviting the Pearson family to just call him Gijs. Editor's Note: I really like the fact that Margo doesn't have to spend 185 pages calling the RDD "Professor van Kessel" - and not just because it's a pain to type.During tea, Margo gets to thinking about what Gijs' home life might be like and wonders whether he is married. Margo, being Margo, it was no sooner said than done. "Are you married?" Embarrassment klaxons are blaring...but Gijs is adorable...and described by Betty as "either a man with the kindest heart imaginable or was prone to deafness."
Despite the burgeoning friendship with Gijs, Margo goes over to the Merridew farm to help George's mum preserve plums. While stoning plums, girlfriend has an epiphany that she can't possibly marry George the pig-farmer. Upon returning home, she tells her own mum that although she's fond of George, she just doesn't love him. She would like to be cosseted and spoilt and loved very much. Frankly I think it's the thought of living with George's mum that really has her put off the idea. She'd rather stay single than marry George and have to live with his mum.
George takes the news the next morning with a disturbing lack of concern...which was a very lowering thought to a girl...
In order to take a breather and "clear the decks", Margo heads off to visit Aunt Florence...an archdeacon's widow with a sharp nose, a sharp tongue and a warm heart. While taking a walk, Margo spots a toddler lying unconscious in the creek. She recognizes the little girl as the granddaughter of Lady Trueman, and marches her back to the manor in the pouring rain, losing a shoe in the process. A paediatric specialist is called in...no other than our Gijs. We've got to stop meeting like this...it seems that we are destined to only meet in emergencies. He drives her back to Aunt Flo's house where Margo discovers that "the peculiar feeling she had been experiencing for the last hour or so wasn't a cold in the head, it was love!" Margo is bundled off to bed while Aunt Flo and Gijs chat about her over a cup of coffee. Gijs reflects to himself that besides being surprised at seeing Margo again, he was also pleased. Hmmm. Pleased and surprised? Nice.

Pleased enough to stop by Margo's stall at the church bazaar. Margo is in charge of the "Good-As-New" clothes...and steps out of character to remark, "do people really buy other people's clothes?" Editor's Note: I would think that a vicar's daughter would know better than that. At twenty-eight years old she's probably been to at least a couple dozen bazaars or jumble sales...which probably had used clothing stalls. But I digress. Gijs stops by to dispense a little fashion advice to the customers and invite Margo out to dinner - getting to know each other without an imminent medical emergency.

Dinner is lovely (even if her clothes aren't), and the two carry on a refreshingly two-sided conversation. Good-byes are said, Margo assumes that's the last she'll get to see of Gijs. Which it is, until time for her to head back home. When Gijs shows up at the door, Aunt Flo tells her that it must have slipped her mind, but Gijs is going to drive her home. Another last good-by? He reminds her of a promise he had made to arrange a hospital tour for her. He'll pick her up next Tuesday.
Gijs really does admire Margo - she would make a splendid wife and mother, so hey, maybe while he's at it he can find a way for her to meet one of the younger doctors, however, when he does see her with Houseman Alec he forgets his idea - he finds no pleasure in the sight of her with the younger man. Hmmm.
Meanwhile, Margo is not too happy with Gijs. In fact, she's boiling with rage. What? Mild-mannered Margo is ticked off? Why for? Gijs is mystified at her coolness towards himself during the drive home. He makes Margo stay in the car until she tells him. Tell him what?
Her: "You said I was a sensible girl with no silly ideas. Alec thought I sounded like a schoolteacher. If that's what you think of me I don't want to see you again, ever."
Him: But you are a sensible girl with a refreshing lack of silly ideas...
Her: See what I mean? It's call damning with faint praise. I'd rather have none of that.
Margo bitterly regrets her words.



One week later. Mom and Dad are out for the day running errands and doing a spot of early Christmas shopping. Oh, and dying in a motor accident.

Margo calls Aunt Flo. Who finds Gijs at her doorstep. Who offers to drive her to Margo. Who cries on his shoulder. Who swallowed the spider who ate the fly...I don't know why...

Gijs is so sweet...he would take her grief on his shoulders if he could, he even goes so far as to tell Margo. I'm going to use this to excuse some future bad behaviour. Gijs proceeds to help with all the formalities associated with the funeral and comforting Margo.
Aunt Flo is distressed about Margo - what will happen to her now? I shall marry her. Oh heck, I'm in love. He takes Margo for a walk to the place where they met, gives her a hanky while she sobs and snivels, then proceeds to propose in a rather delightful way. It might be a marriage of convenience...but it's very friendly and open.
Margo is a little worried about marrying him - but Aunt Flo has no such qualms..."you're marrying him because you love him, so of course you're doing the right thing." Wow. Even Margo's ecclesiastical aunt can tell.
In preparation for the wedding, some judicious shopping is engaged in - including a new house for the newlyweds. Yup, they jump right into buying real estate together. Which is surprisingly easy for them...unlike the months Dr. van der Stevejinck and I took to find our current residence.
On the way to the wedding ceremony Margo considers the fact that since Gijs isn't in love with anyone else, she may as well have a go at helping him to fall in love with her. It might take years, but it would be totally worth it.
The wedding is lovely - the whole village turns out for it. Cross-over characters Gijs and Beatrice van der Eekerk (Wedding Bells for Beatrice) are in attendance also. Note: Gijs has got to be the most commonly used RDD name in Neeldom, which does lead to some confusion on my part. Sir William throws a lovely reception for the happy couple before they head off for the requisite trip to Holland. On the drive through the countryside Gijs promises to get Margo a car so that she can be independent..."She had no wish to be independent - she would like to stick to him like a leech."
The house of van Kessel is awfully big and fancy...Margo has her suspicions that Gijs might actually be a millionaire. Which he happens to be.

Her: I dare say I'll get used to it..
Him: If you can't bear to live here, we'll close it up and live in a cottage. (see - he's nice!)It's very close to Christmas - so Margo and Gijs go  Christmas shopping for all of Gijs family (who Margo hasn't yet met) and the servants (who she has). Christmas is a lovely family occasion - all of Gijs siblings, their spouses and children are there. And everyone likes her. After Christmas the extra family leaves, and it's down to Gijs and Margo (and the servants). It's pretty quiet - and so Margo goes for a walk. Unfortunately it starts snowing and she gets lost. Of course Gijs saves the day - but he's breathing pretty hard by the time he does - and it's not altogether because he had been running.
Gijs takes Margo furniture shopping (for their new house) in the attic of his house in Holland. Amongst the detritus of past decorating styles, Margo spots a cradle. Turns out all the van Kessel offspring spend their first month or so in it. Which begs the question...Gijs wanted a wife, but does he want children????
Back to London and the new house - it's coming along swimmingly when Gijs announces that his younger sister, Corinne the Corrupter, is coming to visit. Even though Corinne the Playing Fast and Loose with Her Marriage Vows is Gijs' sister, she is no role model for future Neels heroines. She carries on a secret 'Brightonless' (we hope) affair with the dastardly Jerome...secret until she fesses up to Margo, then vows her to secrecy. Corinne the Terminally Stupid gets into trouble with Jerome - he wants her to 'go to Brighton'. Corinne the Too Stupid to be Allowed sheds some tears in front of Margo and begs her to get rid of Jerome for her...when Margo shows doubts about helping her, Corinne plays the "I'm going to have a baby" card (don't worry, it's her husband's child...not Jerome's) and Margo agrees to help. This leads to some BIG TROUBLE with Gijs...because he sees Margo and Jerome having an intense conversation on the steps of the National Gallery - and Margo won't explain (remember - vow of silence). Since Margo won't say anything, Gijs ships her off to Aunt Flo's for a week - which doesn't help. When Margo gets back, Gijs announces that he's going to Holland for a couple of weeks. Alone. Margo sticks it out for about a week and a half then follows him to have it out. She offers to have the marriage annulled...Gijs tells girlfriend that he loves her too much to see her unhappy...Whatever shall I do, she wails. Gijs drives up to Friesland for the night - then goes straight to his office in the morning. Corinne the I'm Pregnant So I Should Get Away With It shows up and confesses all (her husband is making her do it) and ends her confession with tears and baby news. Gijs is way the heck too nice to her - but he does beg her never to ask Margo to make any more promises - because she was brought up to keep them. At all costs.
Gijs races back to the house - Margo hasn't left for her flight yet. He finally finds her in the attic, sobbing over the cradle. I love you's all round...then some implied future conjugal relations - "The cradle will need a good polish." The End.
Rating: I love this book. A lot. Margo is my favorite kind of Neels heroine: plucky, resourceful and cheerful. Gijs is adorable. He's nice even before he falls in love - no hooded eyes for him! The age difference is not that great - 28/35. The only fly in the marital ointment is baby sister. If I could change one thing about this book, it would be that Corinne got a little more closely acquainted with consequences, but that's not how The Great Neels rolled...I give this one a queen of puddings!
Food: I'm guessing Betty penned this in the fall, because we have apple crumble (twice), apple tart AND Dutch apple tart. Not only that, but we also have a couple of casseroles, bacon sandwiches, toffee pudding, treacle tart, jam roly-poly pudding, roast pheasant , almond tart with lashings of whipped cream - all these things sound very fall/winter comfort food kind of dishes.
Fashion: at the used clothing stall there is a dress of puce nylon with a pattern of startling green leaves, draped to disguise the wearer's curves. Wow. Margo buys a new wardrobe consisting of a velvet skirt, elaborate top in delicate apricot, blue dress and jacket to be married in, brown jersey dress, blue cashmere dress, brown cashmere coat, and two party dresses, including a dark green velvet with a very immodest neckline.

52 comments:

  1. I would like to love this book, since Gijs is a darling and I find the seven-year age difference much more bearable than the 12-pluses Betty loves so much, but I hate, hate, hate that the poor Pearsons get killed off violently as a plot device.

    Betty Debbie, I love your observation that the food is autumnal -- it helped me observe that all those velvet and cashmere garments also suggest a nip in the air.

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    1. I was thinking Winter. Maybe the Christmas tree on the cover was the reason.

      Anybody catch the wedding gift from George and his Mum? Bronze pig bookends. Wouldn't you love to have those.
      Anybody even get a gift from a former boyfriend. Betty Magdalen, we know you did! Was it hilarious like the bookends?

      I got very few gifts as it was made known by my Mum that I'd be flying to the Castle in Spain soon. But one Aunt persisted in giving orange placemats, and a friend gave wooden animal shaped napkins rings. Eventually the kids loved those, but never used them for the intended purpose.

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  2. Also, these are some of the utterly best photo illustrations amongst all your profoundly wonderful illustrations. I love the jumble sale especially. It is exactly right.

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  3. Betty Barbara here--
    I just couldn't get through this on the re-read because I just couldn't face Corinne again. Which is too bad, because the first part of the book is so darling and Gijs is such a sweetie.
    And I did resent Betty summarily killing off the very worthy parents. To me that was a lazy way to get Margo to marry Gijs. [As this one one of Betty's later books, maybe she was out of ideas and went with a tried and true trope?]
    I just hated Corinne--what a vile little schemer. And she only fesses up because her hubby made her--unspoken but understood was the message that she would never have confessed on her own. Ugh!
    Even though Betty's books often stretch the bounds of realistic human behavior, I found Gijs' very easy forgiveness of Corinne too be just unbelievable. I wanted Beastly Dutch Oaths!!
    So, nope, on further examination, not one of my favorites.

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  4. 80 ℬettys, certified registered ℬettys. Wow! But there are so many more ℬettys out there. While I am writing this I can see ℬettys who are online whirling around on the Conquering the World widget: Billings (Montana), Carrollton (Texas), Amsterdam (the Netherlands), Romford (United Kingdom). Oh, and look who is there now, Marysville, Washington - yoohoo, Betty Debbie, is that you?

    The Vicar's Daughter is another book I have read many times. I love all the Gijses in the Canon.
    One of the things I love about this review are all the bynames of Corinne the Corrupter, ha!

    Betty Anonymous

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  5. Marysville, Washington...yep, that's me!

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    1. I also like this book, Betty Debbie. I don't mind that the parents die. It's heartbreaking, but this stuff happens, and it's fiction, so I can tell myself "It's all make believe, don't cry too hard."
      I think for me it's easier to read cuz my Dad died when I was very young, so I relate to the character and it's somewhat comforting.
      I, too, love the flock of Gijses. What's good for them should be good for their ganders, right! (Sorry, sometimes I can't help my punny self.)

      I like your town name! he he he I've been to Marysville, Michigan. I should put that on my bucket list, to visit all the Marysvilles in the US. I wonder how long I'd be traveling?
      Oh, well back to the garden.

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    2. Betty Mary, the flock of Gijses, that's really good. You're so punny!
      Betty Anonymous

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    3. "Flock of Gijses"! As Betty Keira would say, <snort>!

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  6. My internet service says Carrollton but I am really in Addison, TX, 4.35 miles of fabulousness. Our town actually has TWO websites, one for all the special events and one for city government. In 4.35 square miles we have 170 restaurants, 22 hotels, 118 acres of parks, jogging trails, and playgrounds, a town built and run Athletic Center (with three pools) that is to die for, and Addison Airport, which takes up almost half the town, which is the third largest general aviation airport in the US. Our town is also "Disney World" clean. I'm talking spotless. We may not have a lot of history, but if any Bettys would like to fly their private jets in I am sure they would not be disappointed.

    www.addisontexas.net and www.addisontx.gov

    Yes we like to brag a lot it Texas, I know, but I love my town. I also love Betty in San Antonio's town. Now THEY have history!

    Betty von Susie

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    1. Betty von Susie, I remember having seen Addison, TX on Conquering the World several times. Was that you (using a different computer) or are there more Bettys per square mile in Addison than anywhere else in the world?
      Betty Anonymous

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    2. I don't know what Conquering the World is, so couldn't have been me. Our whole town is wi-fi, we are fairly dense population wise, and wi-fi hotspots in just about every restaurant.

      Betty von Susie

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    3. Betty von Susie, "Conquering the World" is the name of the turning-world-widget on the right-hand side of this page where I can see Carrollton, TX whirling around right now.
      Betty Anonymous

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    4. Hmmm, maybe I'll stop calling it "the globe thingy" then.

      Betty von Susie

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    5. I was thinking we had a Betty in San Antone, am I hallucinating yet again?

      Betty von Susie

      P.S. Buddy Holly ROCKS Betty AnoninTX

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    6. I do think we are twins, Betty von Susie... I love Buddy Holly and listen to him all the time. The Buddy Holly Center here in Lubbock is an awesome place. It has the glasses Buddy was wearing the night of the crash (they're cracked...) and his Fender Stratocaster, plus all kinds of things from his marbles to his bedroom furniture. I've been blessed to meet Buddy's brothers Travis and Larry. I've heard his nephew and two nieces perform also. A couple of summers ago, the PRT and I traveled to the Surf Ballroom and out to the field where the plane crashed. Buddy's buried here.

      Betty AnoninTX

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    7. Don't you think "True Love Ways" would have been a good title for a Betty book? I love that song. So sad that his wife lost their baby after he died, having a little part of him would have been such a great comfort to her I'm sure.

      Betty rave-von Susie

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    8. Betty Barbara here--
      OMG! I (and the family van der Tarheelin) just came back from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (in Cleveland, Ohio). and now I am being sucked into the early rock history vortex!! And yes, I am old enough to have actually cried when the news of THAT plane crash became known.
      Betty Anonymous--Yes!! "True Love Ways" would have been a perfect title!!

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    9. That would have been a great title! Buddy had/has a huge British following. There was a British couple at the BH Center last time I was down there. I usually hang around the Center on his birthday, and I always go to his gravesite on Feb. 3. They just bought a pair of Converse hightops that belonged to Buddy. I'm going to go see them when they go on display.

      I wish Betty had thought of that title. I can't see Betty listening to Buddy, but who knows! I love that song too. My most-loved Buddy song is Rave On. I love Rock Around With Ollie Vee, Holly Hop, Ready Teddy, Think It Over, and I'm Gonna Love You Too, along with all the most known ones.

      I really really want to go to the R&R HOF. That's awesome. The Crickets were just inducted.

      Betty AnoninTX

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  7. Oh Wow, Betty van Susie. My brother lives 5 miles from Addison TX in Farmer's Branch. I've not been to his home (he lives with wife #2 and her mom), but I visited him in Lewiston years back, and later his ex-wife in Corinth TX. Wow, small world. And add to that, Betty Megan goes to school and I work in Addison, MI.
    The revolving world shows a different city for me,too. I live about 10 miles from the town they show when I'm on.
    I like Texas. I've lived in San Antonio, Austin, and between Buda and Kyle TX. That was over 20 years ago, though. Prof. Vue der Plane was born in Austin and lived all over Texas. We moved to Michigan after he left the Air Force. He's got a heart as big as Texas but his metabolism and diabetes won't let him take the heat. I'd gladly go back, even though they call me a Yankee when I'm there. I do correct them and tell them the Yankees are in New York. Michigan has Lions, Tigers, Pistons, and Red Wings but nary a Yankee!

    If I ever revisit my SIL, I'll have to look you up!

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    1. I sit corrected, we actually live 32 miles from the offending city.

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    2. Wow! All these Texans. I'm an Aggie myself, so I was a Texan for a few years. Gig'em!

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    3. Lubbock here, so you have a West Texan in the bunch. Home of Buddy Holly and Texas Tech University.

      Betty AnoninTX

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    5. Betty Anonymous - almost feeling a little left out, sniff - has no connection to TEXAS at all - safe a store-boughten pizza by that name (with a lovely thick soft & fluffy crust) which finds its way onto her dinner plate every once in while when dog-sitting. Yum.
      Betty Anonymous

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    6. Betty Anonymous getting out her red pen, that should have been save.

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  8. Love this book as love Aunt Flo...however, my book couldn't decide whether the young doctor who showed Margo around the hospital was Alex or Alec... shoddy editing!!! Oh, well.

    Just have to shout, I'm going to Holland TODAY! Meeting some friends and cruising down the canals on their barge, I know it's hard but someone's got to do it. I've loaded up the kindle with a couple of "Betty's".

    Will think of all of you!!!

    Betty Ilana

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    1. Betty Ilana, have a lovely trip - no falling into canals, mind. Could you take some Betty van den Kindle in Wild Pictures? (I'm probably too late with my request.)
      Have fun!
      Betty Anonymous

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    2. Dang, so sorry, didn't do so while I could, hadn't read the comments and didn't think of it! I was in Maastricht, which was charming and had panenkoek, which was delicious. Do any of our beloved and awesome Bettys take place there. Didn't fall into the canal, but we had a lovely Dutch Captain who was 6'5", but married...yes, I suffered. Sniff. XO

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    3. Betty Ilana, too bad about the Betty in the Wild Pictures. But perhaps you do have some pictures you would like to share with us?
      I don't recall any of the books taking place in Maastricht, I am fairly certain that I would remember. Betty van den Betsy will know for sure.

      The Hasty Marriage
      She went down to her breakfast feeling subdued, and was made more so by Reilof's announcement that he would be going to Maastricht for a seminar and would be away for two days.

      Betty Anonymous - who feels tempted to go out later and buy poffertjes (in lieu of the pannenkoek) and stroop at the supermarket

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    4. Well, I have to say when we went for panenkoek I knew what stroop was! Dear Betty, educating us all. Also, she's right about most people knowing English. I do have a couple of shots of Maastrict, the harbor and the town square, how do I post them?? XO

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    5. Send them to use via email(jerseydress@westopia.net).
      I'm usually pretty prompt when posting reader submissions, but I'll warn you right now that I'm leaving on vacation in about 3 hours, and who knows how much inter-web-nets will be available in the wilds of Wyoming?

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    6. K...must organize anyway! XO

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  9. Speaking of Amsterdam. If I didn’t know better I’d say my SIL is a another Betty. The number of Neelsdom places she has visited... Last week she and her friends went on a girls-only-tour to
    Amsterdam ✔ Previously, they had "done"
    Vienna ✔ A few weeks ago she went to
    Jersey ✔ with her sis. Last year they visited
    Guernsey ✔ !!! With my bro she has been to
    England ✔ several times. They went on a Cruise to... (no, not a wedding)
    Madeira ✔ a few years back. And they have also been to
    Oslo ✔ during another cruise.
    And those are just the places I know of.
    Betty Anonymous

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    2. Wow! Not to Brighton, I pray!

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    3. Your prayers were in vain - and several years too late. But since they are married...
      Betty Anonymous

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  10. I adore reading these reviews. I'm laughing outloud.

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    1. Hi, Betty Beverly!

      Welcome, and keep leaving tiny little comments, like bread crumbs, so we'll know you've been here.

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    2. Betty Beverly, can you see it? No, you can't. Because it's not there. The red ball that is missing on the cover of the copy of A Girl in a Million on your page. That ball was, in fact, the main point of interest during our discussion of A Girl in a Million - Reprise.
      Betty Anonymous

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    3. Betty Beverly, Betty Lulu wanted to know which of the Neels books got an A+ when you graded them.
      Betty Anonymous

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    4. Magdalen quit calling people's comments crumby-it's not nice. lol.

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    5. I'm going to have to go through the shelves in my garage, pull out the Neels books and read the pencilled comments on the inside blurb pages .... More to follow. But give me a few days to dig through the garage. At one point, I owned more than 100 of her books, but in a fit of foolishness, I got rid of the dozen or so that irritated me. (Sorry, Betty)

      As much as I love reading Betty Neels, I like writing more, so with my little bits of free time, I've been writing rather than reading. But I think I will have to reread some Neels soon -- as inspiration. :)

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    6. "calling people's comments crumby", ha ha. Was that you B.v.S.?

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    7. Betty A,
      I work with many learned people who have travelled broadly and have much wisdom, the most important thing that they have shared with me is this:

      Deny, deny, deny,
      Demand proof,
      Make counter accusations.

      Betty von "I want my lawyer" Susie

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    8. Ooooo, Betty Beverly, I would love to know which dozen or so Betty Neels books you threw out! Was one of them Victory for Victoria? (One of my least-liked Neels that comes to mind).

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  11. Actually, Jake and Oliver are the two most used names, each used five times. Why yes, I do have a spreadsheet, thanks for asking :-)

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    1. Welcome, Betty Unknown. Cool! Have you been acquainted with Betty van den Betsy's spreadsheet?

      She also did a series on "Betty by the Numbers," and
      here is the one on the names. But She asserts that James was used most often--six times.

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  12. The end is truly touching

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  13. I don't know... I think the fact that Margo is willing to get divorced instead of trying to explain to Gijs is up there on the "stupidest moments in Neelsdom" list.

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