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Summer Reading from 1912
August 4, 2009, 6:09 pm
Filed under: Read

I only discovered this gem of a book a couple months ago: Daddy Long-Legs by Jean Webster, published circa 1912. The great thing about the fact that the book was written so long ago is that the copyright has now expired, and we can all read Daddy Long-Legs online for free!

Click here for the Google Books link.

In a nutshell, it’s the story of orphan Jerusha Abbott (what a hideous name… clearly not from recent years) and her transition from orphanage life to college, thanks to an anonymous benefactor who thinks she has potential to become an excellent writer. Jerusha must write him a letter each month in exchange for tuition, room & board, and a generous monthly allowance. She calls him “Daddy Long-Legs” because she has only seen him from the back once, and he refuses to reveal his true identity to her.

Jerusha is a witty and clever character, a little on the snarky side, rather shockingly (and amusingly) irreverent in her questions and hilarious in her observations and drawings. I can hardly believe that Jean Webster, a female author back in 1912, wrote Jerusha in such a way that with a name change and a few language tweaks, the story may well have taken place today.


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Mels! Totally read the entire book on the sly during downtime at work. Sh*t cracked me up. Thanks for the recommendation. This book is Betty Smith’s childhood dream of another life before she became a writer. Really made me wonder if she’d read it and thought “if only…”

Comment by Deids

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