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Review: Daddy-Long-Legs by Jean Webster

By Jean Webster

Jerusha Abbot is a seventeen-year-old orphan living in the John Grier Home. As the story begins, she attends a local high school while working at the orphan asylum. Yet seeing as she is preparing to graduate from high school, she will soon be released from the home. In light of these circumstances, an anonymous trustee has elected to donate the money for Jerusha to go to college, as well as a monthly allowance. His only request is that Jerusha write monthly letters to him, addressed to a Mr. Smith, detailing her education. Mr. Smith claims he will not answer these letters in order to remain anonymous. Being a smart young woman with a love for reading and writing, Jerusha is thrilled, planning to become an author after college. At college, she learns more than she ever imagined possible, and makes new friends. Through her letters, she comes to feel affectionate toward Mr. Smith, or rather Daddy-Long-Legs, as she calls him, but wishes she could meet him. At the end of her education, Jerusha finally gets her wish, but is surprised by who she meets.

I love this book. The review could end there, but I won’t let it. I’d read other books by Jean Webster a couple of years ago and downloaded the free copy of Daddy-Long-Legs on my Kindle, but hadn’t gotten around to reading it until recently. And I’m kicking myself for waiting so long. It is such a good book! I love everything about the book, but my favorite part is the protagonist. I love how whimsical Jerusha is; she reminds me a lot of Anne Shirley. I love how funny she is, and how she’s energetically curious and interested in learning about the world. She’s definitely a new favorite heroine for me.

I really like that this book is written in letter style; it’s the perfect thing for this book and I couldn’t imagine it being written any other way. Everything moved at a fast pace and I was sad when it was over. There are elements of romance, but it isn’t just a romance; it’s about Jerusha growing up and learning about the world, finding her place.

As I am sure it is plain to see, I was beyond thrilled as I flew through the pages of this masterpiece by Jean Webster. Not only will readers of the classics and historical fiction love this novel, but any one that loves to get lost in a good book will enjoy Daddy-Long-Legs.

I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.

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