Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Behave Yourself, Bethany Brant (1986)

Behave Yourself, Bethany Brant. Patricia Beatty. 1986. HarperCollins. 160 pages. [Source: Bought.] 

I acquired Behave Yourself, Bethany Brant from the library book sale a few years ago. Bethany Brant, the heroine, is a preacher's kid. The book is set near the turn of the twentieth century. And it's set in Texas. It felt like it could be a very good fit for me. Unfortunately, it wasn't quite what I expected it to be.

The book opens with Bethany Brant visiting a fortune teller at a fair or carnival. Her parents are busy listening to live music; her brother, Abel, is off on his own. Bethany knows her parents wouldn't approve of her visiting a fortune teller, of her wasting her money on such a thing, of her giving so much of her time and thought to what the fortune teller says. But. Bethany Brant does, at least on this occasion, exactly what she wants.

The entire book is centered around what the fortune teller said. She was told at least three specific things: something bad was going to happen, there were elephants in her future, and that a one-eyed man would befriend her in her greatest need.

The book chronicles Bethany through all three "prophecies" (for lack of a better word.) It follows her for almost two years. A lot does happen to turn Bethany's world upside down. And in many ways, the book is just your average coming-of-age story.

I liked this one. But I certainly didn't love it.

© 2014 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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