Daddy Long Legs

“His reason in requiring the letters is that he thinks nothing so fosters facility in literary expression as letter-writing”

Jerusha Abbott is presented an opportunity of a life time when she is sent to college by a kind trustee. Jerusha who has not seen the walls of other place is elated by the news. The trustee who chose not to name himself posed a condition that she should write to him about her college. Abbott was selected because of her humourous essay – ‘Blue Wednesday’ which chronicled a day at John Grier Home.

Jerusha chose to name her sender, Daddy Long Legs because of a shadow radiated by a receding car. Jerusha views the world with a tinge of humour. She fondly narrates spending Christmas with a real family, her time in a farm and her friendship with Sallie McBride. Away from the orphanage, Jerusha feels a sense of belonging in her college.

Jerusha Abott is a humorous character. She’s impulsive at times, but straightens herself when she’s reminded of her manners that she learnt in the orphanage. Jerusha feels like a fish out of water in her new surroundings, but later finds a friend in Sallie McBride. Through the letters, she develops a strange companionship with her unknown benefactor. An aspiring author that she is, her letters become verbose and descriptive as the story progresses. In the end, Jerusha develops a sense of gratitude towards the orphanage that she despised.

The language is simple and easy to understand. The writing veers towards world history, mathematics, chemistry which may be difficult to understand if you are not familiar with the setting. It was heartening to see Jerusha warming up to the world outside.

Filled with nuggets of wisdom and humour Daddy Long Legs is a delightful read.

“Most people don’t live; they just race. They are trying to reach some goal far away from the horizon, and in the heat of the going they get so breathless and panting that they lose all sight of beautiful, tranquil country they are passing through”

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