Daddy Long Legs

ISBN: 1419114905
ISBN 13: 9781419114908
By: Jean Webster

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Genres

Classic Classics Currently Reading Favorites Fiction Historical Fiction Romance To Read Ya Young Adult

About this book

Jerusha Abbott grew up in an orphanage but was sent to college by a mysterious benefactor she calls Daddy-Long-Legs. In college she falls in love with a young man who wants to marry her, but she refuses because she is an orphan. Finally, after Jerusha--now Judy--graduates, she asks to meet her benefactor.

Reader's Thoughts

Margaret Oswald

Normally I love - or at least like - these types of books. Old-fashioned romance/coming of age tale... what's not to like? But Jean Webster's condescending attitude to women in romance and heavy-handed progressive views were really not my cup of tea. The story-telling is not strong, and I was literally angry at the end of this book at the opportunistic (and borderline predatory) masculine behavior that is presented as charming and romantic. Perhaps part of my dislike of this book is that I had rather high hopes... but overall, my impression was of pseudo-intellectual characters and a misogynistic plot.The book is interesting from a historical point of view, especially regarding the history of educational institutions in America. But if you're looking for a great story in this style, re-read Anne of Green Gables or Little Women.

Deborah Markus

You should read this review if:1. You haven’t read this book and need to know why you should,or2. You’ve read this book, but need to know about the connection between Daddy-Long-Legs and J.D. Salinger.(Okay, or: 3. Regardless of whether or not you’ve read this book, you now think I’ve been smoking something I shouldn’t have been. Please read this review so I can convince you otherwise. Thank you.)There is something to be said for not having read the classics as a kid – provided, of course, you steal time as an adult to catch up on everything you’ve missed. There’s nothing like finding out the fun way, in your 20s or 30s or 40s, that the reason a particular work is called a classic is that it’s absolutely wonderful.This isn’t always the case. I can’t guarantee you’ll shriek, “Where have you BEEN all my life?” if you pick up, say, Gargantuan and Pantagruel. But I’ve had two separate friends express their startled delight that Anna Karenina is not only not too hard for mere mortals to read, but is in fact a moving and engrossing read (and a ripping good one at that). I myself missed out on To Kill A Mockingbird until I was in my 40s, because everybody only talked about the important moral issues it discusses, and nobody mentioned how hard its writing kicks arse. (I only finally read it because I got too embarrassed about having to admit that I hadn’t and I’m a lousy liar.)So: Daddy-Long-Legs is an absolute delight. I figured it would be cute and, given how long ago it was written, probably pretty sappy. That’s okay. I can deal with a little sap. Sometimes I even like it.But the young narrator, Jerusha Abbott, is mercilessly sharp and laugh-out-loud funny. Put it to you this way: My son decided to read this after he kept cracking up from all the bits I read out loud to him at the breakfast table. He’s a sixteen-year-old EDM aficionado. If you’re still holding out, I don’t know what to tell you.This is the story of a girl who insists on being her own spiky, sharp, funny self in spite of growing up in an orphanage whose goal, as Jerusha puts it, “is to turn the ninety-seven orphans into ninety-seven twins.” This is not “virtue rewarded” in the usual sense of the phrase. Jerusha is given a scholarship to college thanks to her excellent writing. The essay that snagged her this scholarship was a bitterly funny piece about the orphanage. I LOVE the fact that Jerusha escapes a horrible situation by speaking up about how awful it is. Yes, I’ve been reading too many Regency-era novels about how women who suffer ills and abuses patiently are rewarded. This book was the perfect antidote.Here’s something else I didn’t expect from this book: a Salinger connection.I recently reread The Catcher in the Rye. If you’ve read it, too, you’ll probably recall that the narrator, Holden Caulfield, starts this book having less than a wonderful day. Specifically, he just found out he’s being expelled from his swanky boarding school. He goes to his room to try to relax with a book:“I’d only read about three pages, though, when I heard somebody coming through the shower curtains. Even without looking up, I knew right away who it was. It was Robert Ackley, this guy that roomed right next to me. ...Nobody ever called him anything except ‘Ackley.’ Not even Herb Gale, his own roommate, ever called him ‘Bob’ or even ‘Ack.’ If he ever gets married, his own wife’ll probably call him ‘Ackley.’”That’s a funny passage. It also emphasizes Ackley’s name. It becomes clear very quickly that Holden isn’t fond of Ackley at the best of times. Today he finds him particularly annoying because Ackley won’t let him read. No matter how often Holden hints that he’s reading, or at least he’d like to be, annoying Ackley just won’t leave.Okay. Big deal. Way to be random, Deborah.EXCEPT.Here is a wonderful passage from Daddy-Long-Legs, part of a chapter in which the narrator has been listing all the reasons it’s been a lousy day at school. (Jerusha has mentioned earlier that the best part of every day for her is the evening, when she curls up to read – not assigned reading, but “just plain books” to make up for all the lost time at the bookless orphanage.)“Friday is sweeping day, and the maid had mixed all the papers on my desk. We had tombstone for dessert (milk and gelatin flavored with vanilla). We were kept in chapel twenty minutes later than usual to listen to a speech about womanly women. And then – just as I was settling down with a sigh of well-earned relief to The Portrait of a Lady, a girl named Ackerly, a dough-faced, deadly, unintermittently stupid girl, who sits next to me in Latin because her name begins with A, came to ask if Monday’s lesson commenced at paragraph 69 or 70, and stayed ONE HOUR. She has just gone.”Am I one of those Salinger conspiracy-theorist weirdos, or does it sound like Salinger liked Daddy-Long-Legs and paid it a strange little tribute in his best-known book?You should read Daddy-Long-Legs and decide for yourself. If you’ve already read it but it’s been a long time, you should read it again and see how much fun it is to read classics when you’re a chronological grownup and can decide for yourself what you feel like reading.

Aerin

(Not so much a review as a comment) I'm not sure how I had never read this book before. It's absolutely darling - Nancy Drew, Trixie Belden, Louisa May Alcott and L.M. Montgomery all rolled into one.

Anne

What a lovely gem of a book! The heroine was so endearing and funny, she is sure to lift your spirits up from her very first letter! For an orphan who had never seen much of the world, she was very brave and happy and I loved how she always tried to make the best out of everything. It shows that those who don't have much truly know how to appreciate what they do have.This cute little story all unfolds through Jerusha's letters to the mysterious benefactor who is paying for her college education, whom she calls "Daddy-Long-Legs". He never writes back, and we only get Jerusha's point of view. Her character growth was a lovely journey to witness, and I enjoyed every minute I spent reading it (and it's a rather short book, can be read in a day or two)! I also loved all the references to classics (it made me realize that they are so many i have yet to read! I need to be more "educated" too!) The ending was all I had hoped for and it is with happy sigh of contentment that I put it down and added it to my mental list of books I must re-read for sure!I owe many thanks to my good friend Maria for recommending it to me, otherwise I would probably never have thought of picking it up!! Thanks so much, it was beautiful! :)

Wendy

** spoiler alert ** I've been reading comments here and there about how this book is not that good and the central relationship is creepy and it is anti-feminist. THIS IS SO NOT TRUE.(Well, of course if you think it's not that good, that's your prerogative; I won't go that far; but I don't understand, either.)This book is amazing. Judy is so completely accessible, and her roommates and college friends are so funny. It's a joy to read about someone who is just so excited to do EVERYTHING, but not, of course, in a phony way. But she isn't happy all the time, and she isn't fake; she has days of deep depression, as you might expect from someone with her upbringing. I loved it every time I read it when I was a kid, but then when I went to college and reread it, I appreciated it even more; because lots of what Judy experienced, I identified with, though on a different level--my educational background was also different from most of my classmates, I also felt like I had to watch what I said about pre-college life because I quickly found that people didn't get it, and I also wasn't used to having my own money to spend (my own fault, because I never worked in high school).The relationship between Jervis and Judy (this is why it's under a spoiler; I've been annoyed by people spoiling this to people who haven't read it, too) could seem creepy if one only looked at it on a shallow level, and with 21st century eyes. For one thing, he wasn't THAT old. It doesn't seem like an age difference that would have been creepy at the time, and I actually have met a few couples with similar age differences today. For another, she got to know him on normal terms; it wasn't like he was grooming her or anything--it wasn't GIGI. Or PRETTY WOMAN. Or whatever.Finally, it is so not anti-feminist. I guess it bothers some people that she gets married right out of college and never "does" anything with her education, and that Jervis tells her what to do. Yes, it was totally wrong for Jervis to tell her where she was allowed to go on her summer vacations, and Judy KNOWS IT. She calls him on it, thoroughly. He learns his lesson. And one can only assume that after they're married, they continue with all the philanthropy (that refurbishing of the John Grier Home in the second book wasn't cheap).Also--many of you know that this is pretty much my highest praise for a book--it's FUNNY.(Now, DEAR ENEMY is absolutely racist and classist and generally offensive, besides not being as well written and only sometimes as funny. The odd thing is, I've had difficulty convincing people of it.)(Oh, and also: PLEASE, can someone explain to me why so many people from Iran have read Jean Webster's books?)

Tandie

I loved, no, LOVED this book. (I don't know how to do that thing where you put a line through the word.) The last time I felt this way, like I'd found a hidden treasure, was with Keteura & Lord Death! No, they're not even remotely alike. We meet Jerusha Abbott on a Blue Wednesday at the John Grier Home. The first Wednesday of each month is spent cleaning & scrubbing the home and the 98 little orphans to perfection for the dreaded visit of the Trustees. At 17, the bulk of the work falls to Jerusha, who's spent her entire life there. Her time is up & her future had been discussed by the trustees & the matron, Mrs. Lippett. She's given a rare scholarship by an anonymous trustee, known only as John Smith, because she's displayed remarkable writing talent.Off to college! An extraordinary world opens itself up for Jerusha's discovery. She re-christens herself Judy. Usually, when a heroine renames herself, it's like a bad omen - signaling that she's going to lose her identity while attempting to reinvent herself. Not here. Her last name was chosen out of a telephone book by Mrs. Lippett and her first name from a tombstone! She quickly discovers that her education has been inadequate. She's laughed at because she thought Michealangelo was an archangel. Clever Judy is a quick learner and starts looking up everything she hears mentioned that she's never heard about. She's never read Mother Goose or David Copperfield, Cinderella, Jane Eyre, or Alice in Wonderland. She didn't know that Henry the 8th was married more than once, the theory of evolution, or that George Eliot was a lady! She'd never seen a picture of the Mona Lisa and (gasp) had never heard of Sherlock Holmes.The story is told through her letters to the Trustee putting her through college. (Now don't balk at the 'story told through letters' thing! It's normally not my thing either, but trust me on this!) The only stipulation for the scholarship was that she write monthly letters to her mysterious benefactor. She caught a glimpse of him from behind as he was leaving the orphanage and could only discern that he was very tall. She calls him Daddy-Long-Legs (DLL) in her letters and even peppers them with cute little illustrations - which were drawn by the author herself. When Judy was offered the scholarship, she was told that DLL would never write back & anything he needed communicated to her would be through his secretary. Mrs. Lippett (who sounds like a bit of a Trunchbull) had told her that he hates girls & would most likely just toss her unread letters into the bin. This never deters her from asking questions & trying to coax info out of him. Are you old-old or just a little old? Are you bald? I must know if you're bald, a little bald, or if you have grey hair. Judy pours her heart & wit into these letters. She tells him that her girlfriends talked about their grandmothers that night and she's always wanted one - so she pretends that he's her gran & writes that way. Her friends know that her parents are dead & her guardian is putting her through college, but not that she's a foundling. The story unfolds over her 4 years of college, which seems like it would drag for an eternity but doesn't. Dear Judy puts so much humor & snark into her letters, I grinned and laughed through the whole book. She pours her heart into them too. "P.S. Maybe it isn't proper to send love? If it isn't, please excuse. But I must love somebody and there's only you and Mrs. Lippett to choose between, so you see - you'll have to put up with it Daddy dear, because I can't love her."There's a very small romantic element. Maybe DLL is like Keteura and Lord Death in the way that you fall in love with the heroine, not really the man. You want love & happiness for HER. Please, please, you MUST read this. It will make you all warm & fuzzy inside and thoroughly entertain! Highly recommended!UPDATE: I decided to take away 1 star because the romantic part of the book, however small, was really creepy. It could have been done so differently & worked. No matter which way you slice it, it smacks of ick & Mr. Rochester.*I own a 1912 edition of this book and realized how hard I am on my books! I had to be very careful with the pages & binding even though it's in excellent condition. I'm purchasing another copy for rereading & loaning to my daughter.

e.c.h.a

Sepanjang jalan Pondok Kopi Raya18 JanuariDear Goodreads,Awalnya begini, kenapa baca buku ini. “Cha, sudah pernah baca Daddy Long-Legs nya Jean Webster belum? Gila nggak nyangka gue ada ya orang menulis dengan gaya seperti ini. Suka gue”“Heh, Daddy Long Legs? Belum baca tuh gue. Penulisan gimana maksudnya?”“Iya..Jean Webster menulis dengan metode seperti menulis surat”Dan pembicaraan gue terus berlangsung membahas buku ini, yang akhirnya berujung dengan kata-kata “Lo nggak penasaran dengan buku yang sudah bisa bikin gue meluangkan waktu untuk membaca , Cha?”Okay…dengan melirik tumpukan buku yang menumpuk serta bacaan yang masih setengah jalan akhirnya gue bilang “Ok, gue baca tapi beliin ya hehehe” dan dengan mulus di jawab “OK, gue beliin buat lo, tapi lo yang nyari bukunya ya. Gue pan baca ebooknya ;p” Dan..gue hanya melongo membaca smsnya.Salam penuh kehangatan,Echa****Kelapa Gading5 AprilDear Goodreads ku tersayang,Akhirnya Daddy Long Legs mendarat mulus di tangan setelah sekian lama. Langsung pamer dan dengan bangga bilang “bukunya ada ilustrasinya lho”. Dan hanya dibalas dengan “Pamer nih ceritanya, di ebooknya nggak ada” Dan autisnya mulai dech tuh orang. Rrrrr!!!!!Sori …jadi marah-marah gini. BT soalnya, biar nggak BT langsung menuju La Piazza makan es krim padahal masih nggak enak badan. Rese memang tuh orang, huh!!!Jaga diri baik-baik, Pembaca Budiman.Echa****Pondok Kelapa7 AprilMalam Goodreads!Gue nulisnya dalam keremangan malam nih, masih pusing-pusing jadi harus bergelap-gelapan. Mau sms yang ngasih ah. Ketik ketik sms. Cancel, nggak jadi sms. Lupa kalau lagi autis orangnya. Nyampulin bukunya aja dulu dech GR (maaf nih jadi gue singkat, biar irit. Lha ini apa hahaha, malah nggak ngirit. Anggap panggilan sayang aja ya), baca DDLnya nanti setelah kelar His Dark Material #3 ya. Iseng baca halaman pertamanya . Oh..ini toh alasan kenapa Daddy Long-Legs. Dan tanpa sadar gue terus membalik-balik halaman buku ini, membaca kisah hidup Jerusha Abbot. Seorang gadis yatim piatu yang tinggal di Panti Asuhan John Grier. Seru, melihat tingkah polah Judy Abbot . Di usianya yang sudah tidak pantas untuk tetap tinggal di Panti Asuhan John Grier, Judy Abbot mendapat kesempatan untuk melanjutkan kuliahnya dengan biaya dari seorang misterius yang biasa di panggil Daddy Long-Legs oleh Judy. Siapa sebenarnya Daddy Long-Legs itu? Dan apakah Judy bisa menjadi seorang penulis seperti yang diharapkan Daddy Long-Legs?Gue sambung besok lagi ya GR, sudah ngantuk nih.Nite, have a wonderful dreamEcha****Rawamangun9 AprilGoodreads ku tersayang,Kelar……….. Happy ending pasti, tapi tidak menyangka siapa sebenarnya Daddy Long-Legs itu. Hanya bisa tertawa nggak jelas setelah tahu siapa Daddy Long-Legs sebenarnya. Akhirnya Judy Abbot bisa mendapatkan kebahagiannya.Walau penulisnya hanya menggunakan surat-surat yang di tulis Judy Abbot kepada Daddy Long-Legs plus komunikasi yang hanya satu arah tetapi penulisnya bisa membuat gue sebagai pembacanya merasakan kehidupan serta perasaan seorang Judy Abbot. Masa kecil yang tidak bahagia, kesepian, merasa tidak dianggap. Perlahan Judy Abbot bisa menemukan jati dirinya, bisa menjadi dewasa dan akhirnya menemukan kebahagiannya. Belum lagi ditambah ilustrasi yang selalu membuat gw tertawa kecil. Pada akhirnya gue bukan penasaran terhadap sosok Daddy Long-Legs tetapi malah lebih penasaran dengan sosok Jerusha Abbot aka Judy Abbot sendiri.Nice book…gue harus bilang terima kasih banyak buat orang autis yang rekomen buku ini. Dan, tahu kenapa suka banget sama buku ini hehehe Oia GR satu lagi, bukunya ada halaman yang diulang nih, dapet yang salah cetak nih gue. Untungnya bukan hilang halaman, kalau nggak pan gue pasti BT banget hahahahaSalam sayang selalu,Echa****

Christy

I highly recommend that men DON'T read this, and I highly recommend that women - particularly girls who enjoy Little Women, Jane Eyre, Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, etc. (basically old-fashioned chick flick books with substance) - DO read this. It's sweet and funny and different, not hard to get through in a day or two, and leaves you with a good feeling.

Antof9

Who knew there was a book for this movie? I certainly didn't. This book was truly charming. It's entirely made up of letters from Judy to her "Daddy Long Legs", except for the very beginning, which introduces her while she's still in the John Grier Home.One of the parts that struck me the most was her comments on reading Jane Eyre. Having just (very recently) finished that myself, I was definitely in that mindset when reading this book. I thought that immediately, and it seemed perfectly natural that it would come up in this book too."I sat up half of last night reading Jane Eyre. . . When I was reading about little Jane's troubles in the charity school, I got so angry that I had to go out and take a walk. I understood exactly how she felt. . . Our lives were absolutely monotonous and uneventful."Obviously there's more, but that section certainly struck me. Even in the midst of a truly enjoyable book that is definitely more positive than negative, there is honestly and harsh reality of the way some things happen in this world. I appreciated the way the author handled this (not just this section, but all references toward orphanages) in this style of writing.This is truly a charming little book. Enjoyable in every aspect. Read it if you get a chance :) It'll take no time at all!

صلاح القرشي

هذا هو الخلود الأدبيأن يكتب عمل روائي في عام 1912 وتطالعه الأن في 2012 فتجده طازجا شهيا ساحرا ومعاصرا وكأنه كتب لك رواية ابي طويل الساقين او العنوان الآخرصاحب الظل الطويلاخبرتني أبنتي عندما حكيت لها موضوع الرواية أن هنالك حلقات كرتونية رائعة "من وجهة نظرها طبعا" باسم صاحب الظل الطويل تحكي قصة هذه الروايةقالت لي ابحث عنها على اليوتيوب واتفقنا على مقايضةاشاهد الحلقات الكرتونيةفي مقابل أن تطالع هي الروايةمن جهتي سانفذ الجزء الخاص بيلكن من جهتها فيبدو الأمر صعبا الرواية ممتعة وتأتي في الجانب الذي اعشقه في الرواياتالبساطة العميقة

Hallie

Can't help it - the romance is creepy, but I love Judy so much, and her delight in being in college and having nice things and friends and books - so wonderful. It's been a favourite of mine forever, and one I enjoyed reading to the girls too.

Afsane

كتابي كه در دوره طفوليت من بهترين همدم من بود. اين كتاب بهترين هديه اي است كه در طول عمرم دريافت كردم. نيماي عزيزم روحت شاد.

Tadiana

I'm trying some freebies of a different sort. This one was written in 1912, so it's free on Gutenberg.org (and, presumably, elsewhere online). Basically it's "Anne Shirley goes to a girls' college." It's a delightful, quick read--less than 100 "pages" on my Kindle.Jerusha is a 17 year old who lives and works in an orphanage, where she's grown up. She is unexpectedly given the chance to go to college when one of the orphanage trustees reads a humorous piece that she wrote and offers to pay her way. He insists on remaining anonymous to her, but wants her to write him monthly letters telling him of her progress. This book consists of the letters Jerusha (who quickly dumps her unliked name at college and tells people to call her "Judy") writes over the next four years to her benefactor. It's fun to get a glimpse of life at an all-girls college 100 years ago. A sample from one of Judy's letters:Dear Daddy-Long-Legs,I hope you aren't the Trustee who sat on the toad? It went off--I was told--with quite a pop, so probably it was a fatter Trustee.. . . Every spring when the hoptoad season opened we would form a collection of toads and keep them in [window wells by the orphanage's laundry room]; and occasionally they would spill over into the laundry, causing a very pleasurable commotion on wash days. We were severely punished for our activities in this direction, but in spite of all discouragement the toads would collect.. . . I don't know why I am in such a reminiscent mood except that spring and the reappearance of toads always awakens the old acquisitive instinct. The only thing that keeps me from starting a collection is the fact that there's no rule against it."Judy is a likeable main character with a sense of humor and an independent streak. In many ways the book is dated, but at the same time there are some unexpected progressive views. Judy also makes some positive comments about socialism and a few snarky comments about religion that really make me wonder about the author's personal views! But in general this is a gentle, humorous coming-of-age story with just a bit of romance.I'd recommend Daddy-Long-Legs to those who enjoyed Anne of Green Gables and who like light historical fiction.

Amir Mojiry

و حالا این یکی! ماجرا این بود که در دوران دبیرستان در محله ی خودمان، کتابخانه ی درست و درمانی نبود. رفتن به نزدیک ترین کتابخانه ی آن طرف ها هم چندان کار راحتی نبود. این بود که در کتابخانه ی نزدیک به دبیرستان مان عضو شدم. (یک ساعتی از دبیرستان تا خانه راه بود) حقیقتش قبل از آن در کتابخانه های عمومی عضو نشده بودم! یک بار بچه که بودم می خواستم عضو شوم اما سن کمم را بهانه کردند و راهم ندادند! این بود که عضو شدن در یک کتابخانه ی عمومی هر چند کوچک باشد برایم به معنای یک کشف بزرگ بود. گشتن بی هدف فیش های طبقه بندی شده ی کتاب ها و مخصوصن بعدن که فهمیدم کتابخانه "مخزن باز" است و این یعنی گشت زدن میان خود کتاب ها. اصل جنس! در همین کشف بود که خیلی از روزها بعد مدرسه می آمدم به کتابخانه و همان طور که به ساعت نگاه می کردم که برای به خانه رفتن دیر نشود میان کتاب ها می گشتم (دقیق ترش این است که غلت می زدم) و کتاب ها را ورق می زدم (دقیق ترش: بو می کشیدم) و حسرت می کشیدم که چرا نمی شود بیش تر از دو تا کتاب از کتابخانه گرفت!بابا لنگ دراز همان جا به چشمم خورد و گرفتمش و شروع کردم به خواندنش. این به نظرم یک اصل کلی است که کتاب ها لذت بخش تر از فیلم هایی هستند که از آن ها اقتباس می شوند. مخصوصن وقتی کارتون ساخته شده از آن را دوبله شده و بالطبع سانسورشده ببینید! آن جا اصل ماجراهای بابالنگ درازی و رویاپردازی های دختر بازیگوش او را خواندم و از پایان زیبایش شگفت زده شدم.کتاب قشنگی بود. باور کنید. حتی قشنگ تر از کارتونش

Rashika (is tired)

If anyone ever asked me to recommend a classic, this is what I would recommend. I love what I've read by Jane Austen but this, THIS is truly a timeless story. Almost a century later after it was first published I find myself relating to this young girl. Her story comes to life for me through her letters to Daddy Long Legs.Sitting here, writing this, I can most definitely say that this book lived up to everything I had hoped it would.I didn't actually know this book existed until quite recently and as soon as I read the summary, I KNEW this book was something I would love. When I got my hands on a copy 2 months ago, I decided to read it at a rather slow pace. I read around a letter a day and sometimes I'd skip days too until today, when I decided I really did want to finish this and finish it I did. I have no idea how to put how I feel about this book in words because truly, I am mesmerized by her story. I feel so elated and happy that I all I want to do is sing and dance and imagine how everything will work out afterwards, how their story will carry on. Judy is just such a wonderful character, she is funny, strong and so full of life and her story is wonderful. I am obviously going to fail at writing something coherent so I am just going to go back and re-read certain things ;)If you haven't read this, please, go read it.

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