Monday, March 30, 2015

Daddy-Long-Legs: An Epistolary Review

Genres: Classic; Young Adult; Coming of Age
Pages: 185
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Daddy-Long-Legs (Daddy-Long-Legs, #1)
Dear Mrs. Webster,
Thank you. Thank you for writing a short, enjoyable epistolary novel entitled Daddy-Long-Legs. It's quite the accomplishment, writing an entire novel in letter format. And your efforts paid off.
Sympathy was stirred within me for your protagonist, Miss Jerusha Abbott, from the start. A young girl, not quite 18, living in a dull and dreary orphan asylum with no hope for her future? Oh dear. How lucky, how blessed she was to come to the attention of one of the trustees, and a millionaire at that! I grinned when this mysterious man offered to pay her way through college, his only requirement for her being that she must write him. I laughed when she penned her letters, trying just to update him of her progress, and instead giving him every detail of her college life and affectionately dubbing him 'Daddy-Long-Legs.' How sweet. I loved these letters.
But where is the dialogue? Where did you get the impression that you must write letters with no dialogue, no recounting of Judy's own conversations? It has been done before, I assure you, and would have served to make the story much richer.
But I apologize, Ms. Author, for  telling you how to write your book. Of course you have more experience than I, and this is mostly a matter of personal taste. In truth, your book was a delight to read. I adore Jerusha. With every one of her letters I was even more charmed with her. Her spunk, her wit, her innocence--these made her utterly likeable. She and I(along with Anne Shirley--have you met her?) would get along famously, I think.
I'd say you managed to pen a pretty decent piece of fiction. More detail would have been appreciated, but in all honesty, Judy's unique voice and telling of events made up for that. A predictable, but fun story.
Yours Truly,
PS. Flushing out the romance a little more would have been nice, Mrs. Webster. In my humble opinion.
Dear Daddy-Long-Legs,
If it's not too much trouble, I'd love a free ride to college. I trust your generosity extends to those who are not orphans?
Ever yours,
PS. You don't still hate girls?
Quotable moments:
"But how can one be very respectful to a person who wishes to be called
John Smith?  Why couldn't you have picked out a name with a little
personality?  I might as well write letters to Dear Hitching-Post or
Dear Clothes-Prop."
“I think that the most necessary quality for any person to have is imagination. It makes people able to put themselves in other people's places. It makes them kind and sympathetic and understanding.”  
Content: Absolutely clean.


  1. I read this one years ago, but I don't remember that much about it. Did you know that the classic Shirley Temple movie Curly Top was loosely based on this book? (That was one of the reasons I read it; I love those movies.)

    1. It's a fun, short read. I didn't know that! I haven't seen it, but I'm going to have to check that out.