First published in 1912, this young adult novel is comprised mostly of letters from orphan Jerusha "Judy" Abbott to her anonymous benefactor whom she names "Daddy Long Legs". The letters chronicle her departure from the orphanage through four years of college. Judy makes new friends, slowly gains knowledge and independence, but also struggles with her humble past and unfixed future.
I love this book. And like all books I love, I’m having a hard time actually writing a coherent and, I hope, persuasive review. Oh, the irony. I love this book to BITS and yet how do I convince y’all to read it and love it as well?
So, okay– I can’t convince you to love it, but can I convince you to read it? Let’s give it a shot.
Here’s what I love about Daddy Long-Legs:
1. It’s funny! It’s delightfully snarky, especially about woman’s place in society during that time. The humor almost reminds me of Cold Comfort Farm, with the subtle prodding at irritating things.
2. It’s so well written! Look at this, for instance:
It seems to me that a man who can think straight along for forty-seven years without changing a single idea ought to be kept in a cabinet as a curiosity. I hope he is enjoying his harp and golden crown; he was so perfectly sure of finding them! There’s a new young man, very consequential, in his place. The congregation is pretty dubious, especially the faction led by Deacon Cummings. It looks as though there was going to be an awful split in the church. We don’t care for innovations in religion in this neighbourhood. (somewhere)
3. The characters are great! I loved all of them, but especially Judy, who is a real firecracker (somewhat along the lines of Jo from Little Women). She’s intelligent and lovable and independent-minded and I adore her.
From start to finish, I had a great time with Daddy Long Legs, and I want to thank whoever it was that wrote about it first. I don’t have you down in my TBR wishlist for some reason, but it was definitely a book blogger and I’m forever in your debt, whoever you are. (Probably it was Jenny, now that I think about it. Thank you, Jenny!)
My only niggle? While I liked the happy ending and the romance, it did creep me out a little. It’s like the situation in You’ve Got Mail, if you’ve seen that? Where it’s sort of romantic and YAY, the couple got together at the end. But how they got together, with Tom Hanks knowing all about Meg Ryan without her knowing anything about him, except what he wanted her to know…if you think about it– it’s a little creepy. Yes/no? Maybe it’s just another weird thing I have, like with large age differences between love interests (which this book has as well, but it didn’t bother me as much as it normally does).
Read: January 16, 2011
There’s four film adaptations of Daddy Long Legs (including one with Shirley Temple). I may just have to watch all of them. Yes.