2011: 104. Dear Enemy

"Dear Judy - Your letter is here.  I have read it twice, and with amazement."

Dear Enemy, Jean Webster

     Dear Enemy is the sequel to Daddy Long Legs, and it is even better.  Daddy Long Legs is about an orphan girl who goes to college, but Dear Enemy is about a college girl who goes to an orphanage.  Or rather, it's about Judy's college roomate, Sallie McBride, who is living a post-graduate life as a debutante (in Worcester, Ma, which make me smile, having briefly lived in Worcester, a most un-deb place), when Judy (and her rich husband) convince her to put her brain to work and go run the John Grier Home, the orphanage that Judy grew up in.  It's a daunting task - the Home is a grim and foreboding place, and the orphans need a lot of love and care.  Sallie promises to do it until they find someone else, and she can go back to a life of frivolity, but she finds herself being drawn in by the problems of the place, and a life of value, and, oh, yes, a BOY.  Well, a man, but you get the picture.  

      I lurve this book.  It's also epistolary, and I love how, because of that, we figure out things as Sallie does.  And, since there is no (GLARINGLY OBVIOUS) secret in this book, we can just enjoy watching her growth.  I like these books so much, I have decided that I need to find more Webster.  Probably not in print - but maybe on Project Gutenberg?? According to the author bio on my Dell Yearling Copy (and we do need to talk about Dell Yearling books sometime soon), Webster 1) was Mark Twain's cousin, and 2) wrote a book called When Patty Went to College, based on her Vasser classmate, the poet Adelaide Crapsey - how could we not want to read something about a woman named Crapsey?

Categories:  Fiction, Re-Read, YA.

© Carrie Dunsmore 2017