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4. Jean Webster, Daddy-Long-Legs

Jerusha “Judy” Abbott has lived her entire life in an orphanage. Having no parents or family of any kind, she seems doomed to spend her days in dull obscurity, doing nothing more exciting than taking care of the younger children. However, one day the orphanage administrator informs her that a mysterious benefactor calling himself John Smith wants to pay Judy’s tuition for four years at college. Judy gratefully accepts “Mr. Smith’s” conditions: she must write to him at least once a month, but he will never respond or reveal his true identity. The bulk of this novel comprises Judy’s exuberant letters to her benefactor, whom she affectionately nicknames Daddy-Long-Legs since she once saw his tall silhouette. Her letters are full of adventure, excitement, warmth, and humor as she begins to discover her true place in the world.

What an adorable little book! If I had read it when I was a kid, Judy Abbott may well have knocked Anne Shirley right out of first place as my favorite orphaned heroine! Even as an adult, I definitely responded to the effervescent tone of this book, and several times I found myself laughing out loud. My biggest disappointment was that we only see Judy’s letters, so the personality of Daddy-Long-Legs remains somewhat mysterious throughout the book. Although Judy is a marvelous character, everyone else seems a bit underdeveloped – but that makes sense, since the story is told exclusively through her eyes. I also had a bit of a problem with the romance; while part of me thought it was sweet, another part of me was somewhat skeptical (don’t want to say more, for fear of spoilers). But if you’re ever stuck and feeling gloomy on a rainy afternoon, do yourself a favor and read this charming book!


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 12th, 2012 07:49 am (UTC)
Currently my favorite go-to author for those feel-good books is Sarah Addison Allen; but it never hurts to branch out. I'll keep this book in mind if I ever need a good comfort read. ♥
Jan. 13th, 2012 12:51 am (UTC)
Haven't read much of Sarah Addison Allen yet, but I did really like The Peach Keeper, so I'm definitely planning to read more of her work!
Jan. 12th, 2012 12:49 pm (UTC)
Romance in stories is invasive, sometimes
I haven't read Daddy Long-Legs, but from your mention of strange romance, I wonder if he's The Guy. an Unseen Benefactor doesn't seem like a romantic lead. Definitely a dubious thing.

I keep reading stories where the romance feels tacked on and it bugs me. Won't name them, so as not to spoil, but really, must the central boy and girl character get all to smooching in the adventure/mystery/historical thing I'm reading at the time? BAH I say.
And/or get off my lawn. :-)
Jan. 13th, 2012 12:54 am (UTC)
Re: Romance in stories is invasive, sometimes
Haha, those kids should get off your lawn -- they're trespassing!

I don't want to spoil Daddy-Long-Legs for anyone (since it IS a cute book overall!), so I'll just say that I had mixed feelings about the romance. In one way it was organic to the story, but I think I would have liked the book even more without it. And I usually love a romantic element in my adventure/mystery/historical books! :)
Jan. 13th, 2012 03:01 pm (UTC)
This sounds very sweet. I will have to keep my eye out for it. :)
Jan. 14th, 2012 01:26 am (UTC)
It's very sweet and adorable -- a perfect comfort read!
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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