Monday, November 30, 2020

Thank you, Berta Ruck by Liz Flaherty #RomanceGems

In this month of American gratitude in 2012, the Word Wranglers (another blog I write for) chose one person they were grateful to in the business of writing. Narrowing it down, D’Ann Lindun said, was going to be tough. It was for me. Would it be for you? Give it some thought and let us know which ONE person you’re grateful to. 


My aunt had more books than you could shake a stick at. She bought them from a book club back in the…well, way back, and they resided with paper covers intact on a tall shelf in the corner of the living room. I read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Joy In the Morning, The Hoosier Schoolmaster, Elsie Dinsmore, Rose In Bloom, the Pollyanna series, and a plethora of Gene Stratton-Porter books, to name a few. I sat cross-legged with my back against the wall and lost myself in the South, in New York City, in backwoods Indiana.
And then I read His Official FiancĂ©e by Berta Ruck.
Oh, my God.
          The book was written in 1914, one of 80 novels published by Ms. Ruck. There were two movies made of the story, the first one silent. It was hilarious. It was loving. It was…oh, Lord, it was so romantic. It was written in the flowery, Britishy language of old movies and it was…did I say it was romantic?
          I don’t remember if it was the first romance I ever read, but it’s the first one that made me go “ahhh.” I already knew I’d be a writer—Louisa May Alcott taught me that—but Berta Ruck is the reason I write in the language of Happily Ever After. She died in 1978 at the age of 100 years and nine days. She published books from 1905 – 1972.
          Wow.
          Thanks, Berta Ruck.
***
If you haven't visited Dickens, a glorious, snow-covered little town in New England, now's your chance. Not one but 10 stories of love and laughter and the mending of regrets. Berta Ruck would have a ball there, and so did we!

 
December starts tomorrow. Enjoy every day!




16 comments:

  1. HI Liz, What a collection of terrific books. I read some of my mom's books when I grew up. I remember the Cricket series and another that was about a girl in each state and gave you info about the state. My mom also had the Story Girl and a few others in that series. When I was little we went to the thrift shop a couple times a month and bought their old books for a quarter or less. We thought it was a big adventure.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There's just something about old books, isn't there?

      Delete
  2. I've never heard of Berta Ruck. Will have to go look her up. Great story about your aunt's books.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great share, Liz! My mom was a big collector of books, and she loved her romance! I'll have to search out Berta Ruck. Thanks for the tip!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My mom loved her romance, too. I was so shocked when she talked about how much she liked the "love parts." She had six kids, so I knew she was aware of sex, but I never imagined her LIKING it! :-)

      Delete
  4. My paternal grandmother was a great reader. In latter years, when she didn't get out much I took her books. Some of them were pretty steamy, like Kathleen Woodiwiss. She had some shockingly approving comments. She loved them! Just proves you're never too old for some steamy romance.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nope. You're sure not. Kathleen Woodiwiss was one of my first favorites, too. I haven't reread them for many years--I think I've been afraid they wouldn't "hold up."

      Delete
  5. Thanks for introducing me to Berta Ruck. I grew up on that flowery, British pose. Always nice to discover new authors. I just love being introduced to new voices.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love it, don't you? It's one of my favorite parts of M & B and all the early Harlequins.

      Delete
  6. Lovely tribute. Now I have to investigate Berta Ruck. She sounds like an amazing woman.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The funny thing is that I've read some of her other books, but His Official Fiancee is the only one I remember.

      Delete
  7. I enjoyed the post! I've never heard of Berta Ruck. Louisa May Alcott and Laura Ingalls Wilder were the people who made me fall in love with books. Then Carolyn Keene and Shel Silverstein. Then Mary Higgins Clark. Gosh, I could go on forever! I liked learning about Berta Ruck. She sounds like a good one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Kara. I learned much from the women in my family! I have a long list, too, and it's interesting how they overlap with yours. Mary Higgins Clark was a wow! for me. She was so good. I'm not even much of a mystery fan, but she kept me enthralled.

      Delete
  8. LIz - I ordered this book from amazon!!! The blurb sounded so good - as did your glowing review. Thanks for this!

    ReplyDelete

Due to the high volume of Spam comments, we are forced to install Comment Moderation and Word Verification. We apologize for the inconvenience.