Completed January 4, 2011
Recommended by Ana
When Ana reviewed this book in the first place she sounded so enthusiastic I knew I was going to have to read it eventually. The library didn't have it, though, so I put it on the list to read eventually. Then, she mentioned it in her end of the year Best of... post and reminded me about it all over again. The best thing is that now I have an eReader and Gutenberg had it available. I am so happy that my memory was refreshed! I read the book in one sitting and I was so sad when it was over. I strongly believe that there is a good chance this will make my Best of... list for 2011.
This is the much-loved tale of Judy Abbott, a lively, endearing young girl growing up in an orphanage. Her dreams of college seem in vain until the unknown benefactor offers to pay for her tuition. The only requirements are that she must write to him every month, and that she can never know who he is. Judy's letters to him about life at college are full of her hopes and dreams, troubles, and a growing friendship with the handsome Jervis Pendleton. With so much going on in her life, Judy can scarcely stop writing, and when she discovers who daddy long-legs is, there is a happily-ever-after surprise.
This is a book that was published in 1912. It is an epistolary novel, which I tend to love, that is written really well. Jerusha Abbot is the narrator, as it is she that writes all of the letters. She is later known as Judy, but it follows her life from graduating from high school to college graduation. She finds that her dreams are about to come true because an unknown trustee is going to pay for her to be a writer. The only thing that he asks is that she writes letters periodically to tell him how she is progressing in her studies. He wishes to remain anonymous, but she does catch a glimpse of him on the day that she finds out about the deal. He tells her to address the letters to Mr. John Smith, but because he is tall and thin she starts calling him Daddy-Long Legs. It's cute and sets the tone of her letters.
This book may be playful in nature, but it is also about a young woman who has the very rare chance to have a dream and be able to fulfill it. She grew up as an orphan, but now she feels like the whole world is laid out before her. Even though she is only supposed to write letters periodically, she writes whenever the inspiration strikes her. This leads to four years of her hopes, dreams, feelings, memories, and so much more. Judy is so much fun! In Ana's review she compared her to Anne Shirley, and I have to admit that is probably one of the best comparisons you can make. That might be why I enjoyed her so much. She is naive in the same way as Anne. She has spent most of her life sheltered and doesn't entirely know the ways of the world yet.
I don't want to spoiler everything, but I have to admit that the books plot is a bit predictable. I was not surprised how things played out, but even expecting it I really enjoyed it! It was a cute book, but at the same time it had much more going on than meets the eye. I am so glad I got a chance to read this book!
This book counts for the TwentyEleven Reading Challenge.