Thursday, October 16, 2014

Betty-less in the Wild, But Oh! So Many Doctors!

The Southern Belle has had some endocrinological issues of late that have kept her tied to an IV tube for four hours every few weeks.  Yuck!  But the tests at world-renowned Johns Hopkins proved that her condition wasn't a symptom of blood cancer, which is what her condition usually is.  So yay!  Since her insurance is good, and the issue vexing, and the possibility of kidney failure uncomfortably real, when Baltimore and Boston's finest and most world-renowned endocrinologists were stumped, she decided to consult with the even-more-world-renowned Mayo Clinic team.

The Mayo people weren't sure how long they would need her, which made booking a flight tricky.  Unlike in Betty's world, in the S. Belle's world we don't just show up at the airport when we're ready to leave, brandishing a fistful of cash.  So she opted to drive, about 1,000 miles each way.  Since her condition results in frequent fatigue and occasional blurred vision, I insisted on co-piloting, which is how I wound up in Rochester, Minnesota, surrounded by medical men, women, buildings, schools, paraphernalia, procedures and substances.

But I forgot to bring any Bettys...  or did I?

The S.B. kisses her house-bunny bye-bye.

We made a pit stop in Pittsburgh on day one and found, amongst its many glories, a park full of flourishing magnolia trees.  Wait a minute -- magnolias blooming in late summer?!?

And actually, magnolias in Pittsburgh?!?

On very close inspection, we realized that the flowering trees were one of the many miracles of art the city offers.  They are sculpted in some sort of metal or resin, and we were very close indeed before we were convinced we were gazing on the work of human hands.

In which Betty did a louse get shipped to Pittsburgh to enjoy
artistic magnolias?

Three fair-sized rivers helped Pittsburgh to thrive in the 19th and 20th centuries.  Even today, you can see an occasional barge plying the Allegheny.  Or maybe the Ohio, or Monongahela.  But I'm pretty sure this one is the Allegheny.

Which Betty prominently features a barge?

We made about 700 miles on day one, and then pulled into a cheap motel somewhere between GARY, Indiana; Gary, INdiana; Gary, InDIANa and Chicago.  The restaurant next to the motel had a miniature replica of the Statue of Liberty.

Liberty, not necessarily of London.

After two days full of appointments, tests and procedures, the S.B. had a day off from medicos, and we used the break to visit Como Conservatory in Minneapolis.  Or maybe St. Paul.

The Japanese Garden is lovely, and, at moments, somewhat serene.

The Sunken Garden was my favorite.

We stuck closer to Rochester the next day, given appointments.  But we got to see a one-room schoolhouse and several other 19th-century buildings uprooted from their original sites and brought to the Olmsted County Historical Center.

Why were no Betty heroines teachers?

We also made it to Mayowood, the extensive mansion begun in the early 20th century by Dr. Charles H. Mayo, younger son of Dr. William W. Mayo.  W.W. founded the clinic in partnership with Mother Alfred Moes, a Roman Catholic nun who had worked with him to care for victims of an 1883 tornado.  Two of W.W.'s sons joined the clinic, which thrived over the next few decades; who knows why.  Rochester was not a center of anything, nor is it close to anything vital.  But after dad's retirement in the 90s (he died in 1911), the Mayo brothers, called 'Dr. Will' and 'Dr. Charlie,' grew ever more famous and were consulted by presidents and kings and celebrities etc.

Somewhere I heard or read that Dr. Mayo taught his children that to die rich was to fail in one's duty to humanity, and at some point the brothers turned the clinic -- a multi-doctor partnership -- into a not-for-profit enterprise.  Before that, though, Dr. Will told his brother that he ought to have an impressive house, to give patients confidence in his medical skill.  So Dr. Charlie and his wife built Mayowood.  There's no photography allowed inside, so you'll have to check it out yourself.  It's supposed to be glorious at Christmastime.

Three generations of Mayos lived here, but then they couldn't
afford it anymore.  That's what happens when you believe in
dying broke.  Or at least middle-class.

Final question:  which four books are featured here, and why?


  1. In which Betty did a louse get shipped to Pittsburgh to enjoy
    artistic magnolias?

    I have recently read that particular story.
    In Uncertain Summer Laurens the louse leaves the Lowlands to take up a post in Pittsburgh.

    I had to look up the barge. There were several barges, actually. I will leave the question to a more knowledgeable Betty.

  2. The four books featured here are

    An Unlikely Romance
    Nanny by Chance
    A Gem of A Girl
    A Dream Came True

    because the professors in these books (three Dutch, one Brit) are all endocrinologists.

    I knew Krijn was an endocrinologist!


    British English
    en – dough – cry – NOLL – uh – jist
    en – duh – cry – NOLL – uh – jist
    en – dough – krin – NOLL – uh – jist
    en – duh – krin – NOLL – uh – jist

    American English
    en – duh – krin – NAHL – uh – jist
    en – dough – krin – NAHL – uh – jist

    There are probably more versions than these.

    Did you know the first Dutch Neanderthal fossil, a skull fragment found in 2001, was named Krijn?

    Krijn de Koning, Dutch artist, speaking English
    Hear him pronounce his name at the beginning of the video.
    Dwelling (Folkestone / Margate)
    "I am Krijn.—De Koning."
    Due to the pause it sounds to me like "I am Krijn.—The king." — Ha ha ha.

    Krijn de Koning (speaking Dutch), Nieuwe Kerk, Amsterdam, 2010
    I wonder if The Great Betty would have liked this project.
    He says he built a floor at 5 meters height, 800 square meters, right in the middle of the church and you can go up there and you can see that the niveau of light changes up there...
    (Maybe Betty Carla can explain this better than I.)

  3. Thank you for the new post! I hope all goes well for the Southern Belle!!!

  4. I guess I need to re-read all four of those titles because I cannot remember a barge in any of those. When I think barge, I think Cassandra by Chance.

    Betty AnoninTX

    1. Yoohoo, Betty AnoninTX! Sleepless in Lubbock, I have missed you! I can see your light winking on the globe widget! Off to bed now and no more reading on your kindle under the covers!

      I think you have hit upon the right answer to the barge question! Cassandra by Chance, it was the one with the grisly barge accident, wasn't it?

      The four titles were chosen because the heroes were endocrinologists — the Southern Belle had to see endocrinologists...

    2. I've missed you too. :-) I've been scanning the four titles just in case one has a barge! Lol I am going to bed right now, I promise. It is chilly here, and I want to curl up in my down comforter and drift off.

      Betty AnoninTX

    3. There are several stories where there was a touring barge for a short tour of the city sites along the canal--much like a double-decker bus in London. (Sorry, I don't recall them specifically.) In one there was a child involved who got back on the barge instead of waiting and was 'lost' for awhile.

  5. I wish we still had the recent comments/top comments widget. Sigh.


    October 10, 2014
    The Little Dragon
    Betty Bronwyn
    Thanks for all the great reviews here at the TUJD! I love everyone's enthusiasm and although this was def NOT a fave for me when I read it I think that now I will like it better. Still not awesome cos the lying is a little cringey but much better than the beans on toast I originally gave it. however saying that, I really like eating beans on toast!

    October 14, 2014
    The Convenient Wife
    Aussie Betty
    I read with interest the comments about the varying attitudes to cars. Australia is about the same size as the original 48 states in US. However, we have 6 states and 2 territories. Can you imagine how important a car is here? [...]

    October 16, 2014
    Betty van den Betsy
    Welcome, Aussie Betty! You join at least one or two fellow Down Under-ers here on TUJD. How did you find Betty? What's your favorite novel or period or element of the oeuvre or all of the above? And how did you find the blog?

    October 18, 2014
    Blow Hot, Blow Cold
    Laurel Adams
    There is so much I love about this book, particularly in the first part. But how could Max NOT know what Sophy was hearing, and how her standards would impact that. Yes, she said it had been explained, but if the true situation was a big secret [...]

  6. W A N T E D

    There has been a request over on the facebook side for Cindy C, Paging Dr. Darcy to out herself if she is one of us.

    Since we do have followers hailing from her part of the world I repeat that request over here on the blog.

    1. Derbyshire Writers' Guild looks like a delightful place to get a Pride and Prejudice fan fiction fix. To blend it with Betty Neels...I might just be on a trail to Nirvana. :)

  7. For all of us Bettys who may never have a chance to visit Mayowood Mansion I have scoured the web for pictures of the inside.

    Mayowood Mansion – Interior

    A few glimpses of the inside, a few interesting facts about the in- and outside of the recently restored Mayowood Mansion in a recently published article:
    9 Things To Discover When Visiting the Historic Mayowood Mansion
    posted: Friday, October 3, 2014


    The Master Bedroom of the Mayowood Mansion (not a great picture, there'll be another picture in the Christmas section with a different view of the room)

    Black & white tiles floor in the hall? – ✔

    The Library, Betty would know what to call that ceiling...
    May take a while to load...

    The Library, decked out for Christmas

    Volunteers Mabel Shelton (left) and Linda Menne (right) polish wood features in the library, Hampton Hotels‘ Save A Landmark

    Music Room, looking into the library

    The same room, erroneously called Living Room in the article above, 9 Things To Discover When Visiting the Historic Mayowood Mansion

    Music Room, looking into the room with the Mayo brothers‘ double rocker. (see next picture)

    The room with the Mayo brothers‘ double rocker, Hampton Hotels‘ Save A Landmark, busy bees cleaning and polishing, 2009

    Araminta had just finished arranging the flowers on the round table in the light and airy room in the rotunda, or whatever the round corners of the building were called, she was a bit vague about that...


    Declared a Minnesota Historic Site and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the estate has hosted the Mayowood Christmas Tour for more than 30 years.
    Deck the Halls
    A variety of individuals, businesses, clubs and groups volunteer to deck more than 20 rooms including living, dining, library, study, children’s hallway, nursery, master and other bedrooms of the legendary home. “I never know what to expect,” says Barb Dahlin, coordinator of the tour for the History Center of Olmsted County.

    from Christmas at Historic Mayowood by Penny Marshall, November 8, 2012

    Christmas, dining room, found in an article from November 2011

    Christmas tree , in the room with the double rocker, which is just out of sight.

    To see the following three pictures in full you may have to press Strg + several times (4 x on my computer):

    The CH Mayo master bedroom, November 2008

    The Dining Room, November 2008

    The Study, decorated with an equestrian theme—with Dr. & Mrs. Charles W. Mayo pictured in their togs, November 2008

    An Aramintalivia Job at Mayowood Mansion

    These last three pictures were posted on October 26, 2009 by The Paper Tyger, who before she moved to NYC was the "Jane of All Trades" at Historic Mayowood Mansion, the country mansion that was home first to Charles H. and his family and later his son, Charles W. Mayo and family.


    Volunteers Sherry Tollette (left) and Tom Blevins (right) scrape paint off the GARAGE DOORS

    The Mayo Mansion is situated on a wooded hillside.

    b&w aerial view

    Aerial view

    Mayowood, placque on staircase (sorry, slightly blurred image)


    The Mayo brothers statue My Brother and I at the MAYO CLINIC

    "Charlie" allowed his kids to pile on him on the couch at the end of a long day and "Will" assigned letter grades to his westerns, giving the "F" books to his nephews, as Charles W. Mayo writes in his autobiography.

    "It never occurred to us that we could be anything but doctors." – William J. Mayo

    from The legacy of the Mayo brothers
    Posted: Saturday, August 16, 2014
    Takes a while to load...

  10. Hello there, Betty Barbara! I've just seen you on the globe. I saw a comment of yours on, yesterday. Betty Debbie posted a link to Reading Betty Neels across the years over on the facebook side.

  11. when Baltimore and Boston's finest and most world-renowned endocrinologists were stumped

    That line started me thinking. I seemed to remember some of the heroes going there...

    In A Dream Came True Jemima’s brother Dick had won a place at Boston University, where he would have a grant sufficient to keep him while he worked for still another degree. In science, but let’s forget about him.

    In The Right Kind of Girl Emma’s husband Sir Paul Wyatt goes to the United States. Presumably he will be lecturing there, he fails to answer his wife’s question in that direction when he informs her of his journey, after dinner one evening two days prior to leaving for Boston. And a few other cities.
    Needless to say, he’s not taking her with him although when they had been recently married he had told her she would come with him when he was invited to other countries. Hmph!

    Now, if you think Sir Paul’s callous treatment of his wife inconsiderate in the extreme, telling her two nights before he needs to leave, wait till you are finished reading this, for we have another hero going to Boston. Boston, Baltimore, Washington, and a few other places, in fact.

    In Fate Is Remarkable Hugo van Elven informs his wife on their way back from Rose Road after a busy evening that he was going to America.
    North or South? – North. (Naming a few cities.)
    Would he be away long? – Three weeks, give or take a day.
    Wasn’t this rather sudden? – No, he’s known about it for some months.
    Why didn’t you tell me? – My dear girl, I saw no need; it isn’t as though you are coming with me.
    When do you go? – Tomorrow evening.

    And now I want to read those two books again...

  12. M O R E C O M M E N T S

    Catching up on the comments I missed because the recent comments widget is gone. Sigh.

    October 22, 2014
    Off With the Old Love--1987
    Aussie Betty:
    What I really love about this review is the comments at the end about Swing Dance Guy and I Can Give You a Ride Home Guy. It made me think about Aussie Kevin who I married in 1963. He was the Take Home and Keep Guy. I lost him in 2013, we made it to our Golden Wedding, but I miss him terribly.

    October 26, 2014
    Never the Time and the Place
    Aussie Betty:
    This one was a bland one. He was fine, she was a bit annoying, but overall, just bland and unfortunately, forgettable.

    October 27, 2014
    Caroline’s Waterloo
    Betty Melissa:
    I'm just going to add a little bit about the infamous "Donkey Comment". I thought it incredibly telling that when Radinick apologizes to Caroline he goes on to say they'll name the donkey Queenie, and then her foal will be Prince. Just like once Radinick realizes what he has in Caroline, she'll be his queen and their children princes and princesses.

    Brilliant, Betty Neels! Just brilliant!

    Betty Melissa

    November 2, 2014
    All Else Confusion
    Aussie Betty:
    I have to agree with most said here already. I read this Betty a long time ago, and he is one of the only 2 heroes I don't like. How Annis can give a row of pins for him, I do not know!

    November 4, 2014
    The Silver Thaw
    Aussie Betty:
    I have never known why, but I just couldn't work up any enthusiasm for this one. It hit me after reading this review. Gideon behaves around about how you expect RDD's to behave. It is Amelia who falls short. She is just a bland nothing. Sorry if that is a bit harsh, but it is one of my non-favourites.

    November 6, 2014
    The Little Dragon
    Betty Pam:
    I LOL'd at the Animal Endearments chart. Personally, I'd much rather be called a dragon than a bunny, which has the whole Playboy connotations here in the States.

  13. November 11, 2014
    Betty Del:
    One thing I wondered about in this Betty. How did she get to be a nurse with a limp? Hereabouts you have to be fit as a Mallee Bull to get into nursing.

    November 12, 2014
    The Edge of Winter
    Aussie Betty:
    This one has always been one of my "Down among the dead men". Just imagine living with TM as a young just married woman!!!!!

    November 14, 2014
    Top Ten Reasons to Read a Betty Neels Book
    Kathy Brantley:
    LOLOLOLOLOL. Absolutely perfect.

    November 28, 2014
    Cassandra by Chance
    Aussie Betty:
    I have always loved this one. I love Benedict and Cassandra. They both have spirit and consequently have spirited skirmishes.

    December 8, 2014
    The Quiet Professor
    Leanne Turner:
    I can't believe I just found this blog. I've been reading Betty since I was a teen (which was several *ahem* years ago ...) and have recently started re-reading her books for the umpteenth time, but I digress.

    There's a section in this book that had caught me as being quite funny and it's right after Megan rescues the baby (chapter 9) and the Directrice is visiting Megan in her room.

    "She is to be called Megan and when she is old enough we shall tell her that she owes her life to you." [The Directrice] broke off as there was a knock on the door and the professor came in. He ranged himself beside the directrice, staring down at Megan, who was, in fact, quite worth staring at: she had a healthy pink colour now and her hair, washed and dried, hung in a dark cloud around her shoulders and her nightie, pink and lace-trimmed, revealed a good deal of her charming person. The directrice, whose own nightwear was both concealing and sensible, gave a little cough; the professor transferred his gaze to the wallpaper and Mega, innocent of the effect she was having, looked at her inquiringly."

    Wait ... what? Was the quiet professor really naughty, cheeky Jake who wasn't above ogling our dear heroine?

    To the Founding Bettys ... thank you for the full list of books. I'd despaired of finding a list as complete as the one in this blog and was getting quite pettish about the whole business :-)

    December 10, 2014
    Winter Wedding
    Betty Melissa:
    Like others I am also a little perplexed by Renier's behavior. Even after he falls for Emily he goes out with Louisa? And Heleen? And even when Louisa is out of the picture and Emily is nicely ensconced in Holland, he asks Emily if he expects to hear from Louisa? I just don't get him, and fully understand why she wants to run back to England. I would too if somebody was giving me mixed signals like that.

    I did love parts of the book though, and loved the end where he has finally proposed, she's accepted, and he says "We'll go back to my apartment."

    And she draws away from him because good Neels girls do go to Brighton, even if they are engaged. Gotta love it.

  14. December 11, 2014
    The Secret Pool
    But would her efforts have been likely to have resulted in the conditions BN names?

    December 16, 2014
    Betty in the Real World: Her Family Tree
    Came across this just recently -- Harlequin used to publish a magazine in the 1970s. In some of the early issues, there was an "Author's Own Story" column. Betty Neels wrote hers in 1973. A great article with a photo and with lots of little tidbits -- life in Holland and in England, and some of her nursing experience during the war.

    December 21, 2014
    A Secret Infatuation
    Betty Del:
    I am neverendingly amazed at the names of the RDD's. I had a daughter-in-law who came of dutch parents and her family name was Van der Scheer. Not so hard to deal with. The men in the family had easy to say names too! Kaas was the hardest one! I love the names and the stories and I cannot even say why. I have been reading them since the 70's, I have all of them, I believe.

    December 24, 2014
    Pineapple Girl
    Betty Melissa
    This is one of my least favorite of the Neels canon, to the point where I want to jump into the book and tell Eloise, "Look honey, you can do better...way better than Timon. Tell you what, you like the RDD type? Then we'll go to Friesland. There are more RDDs there than anyplace else in the Netherlands--RDDs practically gather in herds there.

    And they just love British nurses. We'll get a couple of bikes since the average RDD loves a gal on a bike, and go looking for injured puppies to rescue.

    Trust me, some RDD will be along in his Bentley before we can do more than bend over the poor little puppy to help it. Before you know it, you'll be sitting in a Bentley cuddling the puppy, next to a much better RDD than Timon as he rushes you to a vet."

  15. Australian Bettys, do you know this guy? However did he end up here? I don't like spam. He is not RDD material either. Possible engaged-to-some-girl-in-Curaçao-lady-killer-Leo-type?

    S P A M A L E R T

    December 17, 2014
    Spam from Penrith Sydney Australia
    Only by Chance
    Fritz John Marajas
    We provide leading services in Car Tinting, Home Window Tinting, Office tinting paint protection and Car protection packages, in Penrith Sydney Australia.
    Window tinting St Marys

  16. Replies
    1. Happy new year to you, too! I find myself returning to read reviews after re-reading another Betty book. You Bettys have really created a treasure chest of fun reads...though perhaps a cornucopia would be a better description, filled with lashings of whipped cream, of course.

      May you be filled with the joy of being in a moment, every moment of the year.



    December 25, 2014
    An Unlikely Romance
    Betty Del
    One of my all time favourites, as the humour is great. I loved Margaret having hysterics!!!!!!

    December 26, 2014
    The Final Touch
    Betty Del
    This is up on my favourite list, and I think one of the main reasons is that Tyco is so NICE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It is a gentle story, and the two main characters are really loveable.

    December 28, 2014
    Roses Have Thorns
    Betty Del
    Definitely up in my Top Ten. I love how spunky Sarah is! A Cantankerous hero! The whole book is close to faultless and Caroline's Waterloo just beats it by a nose.

    December 30, 2014
    Betty in the Real World: Her Family Tree
    Is there anyway this can be posted on the blog? I would love to see it.

    January 2, 2015
    Betty-less in the Wild, But Oh! So Many Doctors!
    Betty Catherine
    There are several stories where there was a touring barge for a short tour of the city sites along the canal--much like a double-decker bus in London. (Sorry, I don't recall them specifically.) In one there was a child involved who got back on the barge instead of waiting and was 'lost' for awhile.

    Betty-less in the Wild, But Oh! So Many Doctors!
    Betty Catherine
    Derbyshire Writers' Guild looks like a delightful place to get a Pride and Prejudice fan fiction fix. To blend it with Betty Neels...I might just be on a trail to Nirvana. :)

    Betty-less in the Wild, But Oh! So Many Doctors!
    Betty Catherine
    The ceiling style is "coffered".

    Betty-less in the Wild, But Oh! So Many Doctors!
    Betty Catherine
    Happy new year to you, too! I find myself returning to read reviews after re-reading another Betty book. You Bettys have really created a treasure chest of fun reads...though perhaps a cornucopia would be a better description, filled with lashings of whipped cream, of course.

    May you be filled with the joy of being in a moment, every moment of the year.


    January 9, 2015
    Magic in Vienna – 1985
    Betty Del
    I never really noticed before, but some parents in the Great Betty's books DO go away for ages. I could no more imagine that, than fly in the air. Notice I did not say I didn't want to go away when mine were littlies,Just no relatives long-suffering to take up the slack!!!!!!

    January 14, 2015
    Pea Soup...sort of....
    From Puebla with Love
    Thanks for this recipe I have been looking for something like it so I could use my soup mix I got from Winco

    1. I opened a can of "sort of" yesterday. White bean soup. On special this week. Yummy!


    January 2, 2015
    The Fateful Bargain
    Betty Del
    Reading these reviews has brought one of my pet peeves to the surface. Immunization! When I was at school, many moons ago, we just lined up, at the appropriate times, and were immunized for various things. Now, we have parents carrying on about not wanting their children immunized, and therefore, risking not only their health and well-being, but others too. I lined my children up for all needles, they lined theirs up too. I have one great grandchild, and I asked his Mum was she getting him immunized, and she said of course. Enough said.

    January 20, 2015
    Midsummer Star 1983
    Betty Del
    I was reading with interest the bits about Patrica Neal's husband dusting her up instead of sympathising with her. My husband did the same with me when I had a series of strokes and brain aneryisms removed. That is the way to go. He pushed me to recover, not much sympathy but lots of encouragement. I wouldn't be as far back as I am without what he did. He said later that it hurt him more than it hurt me. He was wrong about that, but also so right.

    January 25, 2015
    Betty van den Betsy
    Dear goodness, Betty Del, I hope you are infinitely better. How horrible to have been through stroke and aneurysm; I trust you at least weren't pregnant at the time. Patricia Neal must have been terrified.

    Who was hurt worst is insoluble. The pain of watching someone you love badly ill or injured without being able to help (much -- it never feels like much, does it?) is horrendous and just different than the pain of being ill or injured. I'm so sorry you had to go through it together, and hope together was better than doing it alone.

    And I hope Oliver never reminds Celine of her foolishness when they first met. But I bet she remembers at inconvenient moments.

    January 21, 2015
    Pea Soup...sort of....
    Thank you! I saw this and wanted to try it. I love rice and legumes, never thought to mix them in a soup.

    January 22, 2015
    Caroline’s Waterloo – 1980
    I love this book beyond all reason.

    January 23, 2015
    Wish with the Candles – Reprise
    Perhaps 18 months ago I went to the Brussels Fashion Museum (steps from the Grand' Place) and there was a 79s/80s exhibition which was full of BN clothes - brown, orange, cream, chiffon, crepe. It was truly amazing.

    Forward to the 21st Century: the Beglian, particularly Antwerp, designers are stupendous!

    They are of course Belgian . . .


    January 28, 2015
    The Final Touch – 1991
    Betty Del, we were discussion just recently about the rare RDD recognition of a PBN with a spine. I can't remember which book! If you are on Facebook, I hope you have found our wonderful group.'
    Betty Laurel

    Caroline’s Waterloo
    Me too, Betty Caffeinated. This and Fate is Remarkable. Two I would take to a deserted island.

  21. ___.♥ ღ ♥______.♥ ღ ♥
    _________.ღ ♥ ღ


    The first city I saw popping up when I turned on my computer was Utrecht. Very fitting!

    Best wishes, my dear little companion,

    Betty Anonymous


    January 29, 2015
    Not Once But Twice – 1981
    Betty Pam
    I agree that Uncertain Summer and Not Once But Twice are basically the same book, but I rate them just the opposite. I always felt TGB wasn't quite satisfied with her first effort and rewrote it much more successfully. My complaint with US is Serena - she's beautiful, has lots of dates and therefore, much more experience with men than shy, plain Chrissy. Serena has no excuse for not seeing through Laurens, whereas I give Chrissy a pass on Adam. Serena continues to make excuses for Laurens and refuses to believe the evidence of her own eyes (admittedly abetted by Gijs). On the other hand, Chrissy knows what Adam is but wants romance so much that she hopes for the best. I like Gijs, but I think TGB fleshed Duert out a little better. NOBT gets lashings of whipped cream from me.

    Betty Pam
    Oh, and I LOVE avocados. Sliced with lemon juice and salt, in guacamole, mashed with lemon juice, salt and sriracha on toast topped with a soft fried egg, on a sandwich- to me they are like potatoes; hundreds of ways to enjoy them and all of them good. And while they are rather high calorie, they are a "good fat."

    Never the Time and the Place – 1985
    Betty Pam
    My copy, same cover as pictured above, references someone named Lucy ("she had had a delightful week . . . good deal of time with Lucy and her various friends"). WHO IS LUCY? Her siblings are named Mike and Natalie.

    February 2, 2015
    Last April Fair – 1980
    Betty Del
    I don't have a reason, but I have never warmed to this one. I think the fringe keeps intruding!!!

    February 5, 2015
    The Promise of Happiness – 1979
    Betty Del
    This was my favourite a long time ago before I got hold of Caroline's Waterloo. They still hold 1 & 2 on my Top of the Betty list. I love how spunky Becky is, and how much to heel Thiele becomes. A real winner!

    Year’s Happy Ending – 1984
    Betty Anonymous
    I ♥ this story. Deborah and Gideon are among my favourite Neels people. Gideon is so good handling all the children of various sizes, his own daughter and his nephew and nieces. Deborah is the sweetest mouth-like-a-rat-trap-gorgon.

  23. February 7, 2015
    The Huge Roses: Chapter Eight, part two
    Betty Anonymous
    Four hours later, she had been shown ...

    February 8, 2015
    Love Can Wait – 1997
    Betty Del
    I just re-read this and was sidetracked by the pic on the cover. RBD seems to have receding hair!!!!! How can that be? RBD's and RRD's are always so perfect. I have to say it made my day!!

    February 12, 2015
    A Girl Named Rose – 1986
    Betty Anonymous
    Just finished re-reading — lashings of whipped cream! So much awesome Bettyness in just one volume! it!

    A Girl Named Rose – Discussion Thread
    Betty Anonymous
    There was a time when I was totally into baked beans. Beans straight out of the tin after coming home from the gym were a treat I looked forward to many a time.

    Peanut butter — me too, Betty Barbara!

    Nutella — dito.

    February 16, 2015
    The Gemel Ring—Reprise
    It simply doesn't come to life until page 166 and the death of the dear old man.

    Saturday’s Child – 1972
    Betty Del
    This is a really good Betty book, especially the end when she tells him about his not paying her. I just loved the " going on the streets "!!!!!! My favourite will always be Caroline's Waterloo, but this comes in at 3rd place for me.


    February 24, 2015
    Year’s Happy Ending – 1984
    But the getting together at the end has to be one of the shortest ever.

    The Gemel Ring – 1974
    Betty Del
    No matter how many times I have read this one, I can't warm to it. RDD is SO not attractive in his manner, and Charity is so cringing at times. I keep harping back to Caroline's Waterloo but there you go. No comparison.

    March 7, 2015
    Matilda’s Wedding – Reprise
    Mary Kristy
    Just rereading this and noticed the cat's name, Rastus. Didn't notice it before. It's usually considered racially offensive. I am sure she meant no harm, but really, Betty Neels? Somewhat disappointed here. Now I am wondering if I have missed this type of thing in any of her other books.

    March 9, 2015
    Betty by the Numbers: Cross-over Characters
    Betty Del
    One of the things that began my fascination with TGB was reading a book then later reading another with a niggling sense of having read about a crossover pair before. Being a lot younger, I was driven to find the original book, and that is how my obsession with TGB began....................A loooooooooooooong time ago!!

    March 21, 2015
    Emma’s Wedding – 2001
    Betty Del
    A very likeable swansong. I always love the Bettys with moaning mothers. There really are such people, unfortunately, maybe not so much nowadays, but definitely about when I was a good bit younger.

  25. March 22, 2015
    The Huge Roses: The End
    What a terrific story this is! Thank you so much for writing it! I long to read more -- Jane's story, stories about Emma and Neil (all with Tory and Max and their inevitable children in the background). Please, please write about them! I love your writing and hope for more. (I can't believe I've only now found this website; I've been a Betty fan since I first discovered her books in the early 1980s.)

    March 25, 2015
    A Valentine for Daisy – Reprise
    Love your story :)
    [ i.e. Betty Cindy aka Silly... ´Ma’s story. Gotta it!]

    March 26, 2015
    Caroline’s Waterloo – 1980
    This was also my first Betty Neels. I have 4 copies just in case! The first copy I ever bought - falling appart; a first ed. hardback; a kindle copy ( oh and a second kindle copy) and a copy bound in with the Promise of Happiness. Well you never know when you are going to have a need for a fix!

    March 27, 2015
    Betty by the Numbers – Titles
    About the coats:

    Duffel (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈdʏfəl]) is a municipality in the Belgian province of Antwerp.

    The municipality comprises only the town of Duffel proper. On 1 January 2006, Duffel had a total population of 16,019. The total area is 22.71 km² which gives a population density of 705 inhabitants per km².

    The town gives its name to a heavy woollen cloth used to make overcoats, especially for the armed forces, and various kinds of luggage.[2] Items made from this material are sometimes spelled duffle as in duffle coat and duffle bag. (Wiki)

    I once went through Duffel on a train I think.

    April 1, 2015
    The Course of True Love – 1988
    I completely agree with Betty Nodelia. I love this book and was how naughty Claribel was. So funny, so fun. Love it.
    Betty Britt

    April 22, 2015
    Damsel in Green – 1970
    Is anyone else bothered that (frequently very very) intelligent and highly competent young women give up important work in the community for a life where they are left alone with the help while the husbands work and travel?

  26. C O M M E N T S
    April 23, 2015
    Dutch Apple Pie with Caramel Sauce
    Nikkii Smith
    I am making it right now it's in the oven as we speak. It sounded delicious after I went threw 100 different recipes this is the one I picked but I had to make my own caramel sauce

    April 26, 2015

    Betty Del
    I am sorry I haven't looked here sooner. I am on Facebook, and as soon as I have a spare moment, I will check it out. I love having found these posts, as I have been reading Betty's books for a long time, round about 40 years. I started collecting them after my family was grown up, and left home, when I had a bit of time. Now, I believe I have them all.

    April 27, 2015
    The Course of True Love
    One of my favorite people on the planet is named "Marc" (last name French, not Dutch, alas ...). The Marc in this book reminds me of him a little, being clever, a little snarky and fun (or so I think). That may be why I like it so much ...

    Betty Janet A

    Betty Janet A
    She doesn't even BEGIN to rank in the manipulation stakes ... when I think of "The Little Dragon" ...

    1. Oops. Betty Del's link is missing:
      April 26, 2015
      The Final Touch – 1991
      Betty Del
      I am sorry I haven't looked here sooner....

  27. C O M M E N T S – April 28 – June 3, 2015

    April 28, 2015
    Life after Betty
    Hi! I enjoy a good Betty Neels as well as most of the authors recommended in these comments. You might like to try D.E. Stevenson as well. She had a more literary style but her novels are in that 'no man's land': no Brighton, not much religion. I'd start with "Charlotte Fairlie", my favorite!

    May 2, 2015
    No Need To Say Goodbye – 1989
    Betty Del
    I don't know why, but I like it! I know that most of what you all say is true, but there you go, I like it. I like how much of a self-sacrificer Louise is, as I would have been calling for help eons ago!

    May 3, 2015
    When Two Paths Meet – 1988
    Betty Del
    I recently reread this one, and couldn't make heads or tails of it. The big sticking point for me is constantly asking Katie to marry him, while constantly taking Dodie out. What on earth was he thinking???? It would be close to the bottom of the Betty pile for me.

    June 2, 2015
    A Dream Came True – 1982
    Betty Del
    Forgot to tell you all, I am from the Antipodes........We do not make a practice of producing ne'er-do-wells!!!!!!!!!!! My husband was the best do-well in the business!!!!!

    June 3, 2015
    Tabitha in Moonlight
    MaggieBBetty here (that's a stutter I guess). I'm about to read this one, and have discovered how delightful it is to read The Venerable Betty with one of you all pottering alongside making delightful pithy comments. Even if I hate the book I will always have the delight of this review to enjoy. Thank you, really love what and how you wrote and think.

  28. C O M M E N T S June 17, 2015

    June 17, 2015
    The Fateful Bargain
    I'm not keen on vaccines. Polio OK. [...]

    June 17, 2015
    The Fateful Bargain
    This story wasn't my favourite although I quite enjoyed it. At the end I found it difficult not to turn over pages and reach the end without reading the previous chapter.
    It was too much of a closed decor.

    I must tell that I've read this blog since more than a year but it's the first time I post a comment.
    Maybe 10 years ago I read a story in French of which I remembered mostly 2 things : the hero's name Van Linssen and a lot of cakes eaten. I had found the story and the author's style very different from a lot of others and I've never forgot it.
    Then 2 years ago I have been able to find on the Internet the author name: Betty Neels! and, miracle, all the books were available in ebooks! What a thrill! And my long searched book entitled "Fate takes a hand".

    Now I've finished them all and I must tell reading Neels in English is much more tasteful than in French. I recognise British humour and I love Neels' kingdom. And her language isn't too difficult for a person whose mother tongue isn't English.

    So I learned a lot of vocabulary about nursing and food... and I travelled in England, in Sweden and in the Neederlands, of course!

    I live on the continent but I'm a great lover of England and afternoon teas.

    Your review archive is a treasure and I love it. Thanks.

    I see it's a long time you haven't posted a message so I hope your health isn't too bad.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. I wonder if Littleblue might be a French Betty! Pretty exciting to see a Continental Betty commenting. There are so few of us. :o)

  29. Well, my mother tongue is French but I'm not French. Coming from a very very small country in the centre of Europe. Guess which one?

    I've been to England several time, at a language school, in Kent, a beautiful county. Last time I went with my husband and we visited Winchester and Alton and Chawton (Jane Austen's house).

    Re-reading all the Betty Neel's books. After having read the reviews, I understand them better and see things I didn't before. Love your reviews!

    And are you all from the States?

  30. I wish it hadn't taken me this long to find your blog. I hope you're doing well these days.

    I've collected all the Betty novels. Every now and then I get on a kick and decide to re-read most of them. It's relaxing, undemanding fun.