I borrowed this book from the school library when I was about 12. Reading “Daddy-Long-Legs”, I fell in love with the idea of having penfriends and the art of letter writing.
Jerusha Abbott (later called Judy) is an orphan at the John Grier Home, which is nothing like loving atmosphere of the orphanage in John Irving’s The Cider House Rules.
Already 18, Judy’s future is uncertain until one day, the matron delivers some good news:
Hearing that she’s a budding writer, a trustee will sponsor her college education and even give her a monthly allowance! However, she has to write him (addressed to a fictitious “John Smith”) a letter every month but he will never reply
Mystified by these strange conditions, Judy sets herself to be a good student at college and dedicates her time well in writing her monthly updates to her trustee.
One day, she catches a glimpse of his tall, sinewy shadow or silhouette and starts calling him “Daddy-Long-Legs” instead.
The book is filled with Judy’s description of life at college, some amusing and some not so especially when she remembers her shabby background. Her letters to “Daddy-Long-Legs” fill up a good portion of her book, including cute stick drawings
I could identify with Judy when I read the book because:
- I loved to write letters;
- I had a kind uncle who’d buy me things a young girl loved (who couldn’t afford them) e.g. pretty stationery, cool sneakers, cool t-shirts, books etc and
- I also had strange and sometimes unfortunate escapades when I was a kid.
“Daddy-Long-Legs” is definitely one of my favourite books (read and re-read many times!) and reading Jean Webster’s biography, she’s my sort of heroine too!
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