Wednesday, September 25, 2013

One of My Favorite Classic Novels

You might have heard of the movie "Daddy Long Legs" based on the book by Jean Webster. An orphan is supported through college by a wealthy benefactor.... played by Leslie Caron and Fred Astaire.

But what many people don't know is that there was a sequel, called Dear Enemy --- in which the former orphan, now rich and married, enlists her best friend from college to go back to the orphanage and reform it.

The protagonist of "Dear Enemy" does just that - despite obstacles and discouragements -- including a curmudgeonly doctor who is the "Enemy" referenced in the title.

What's amazing about the book is that, despite the fact that it was published in 1915, the reforms that the protagonist makes within the orphanage are surprisingly modern -- and very well thought out. Sallie McBride is an incredibly likable character -- and you get the sense that the author is someone that, if you and I were living in 1915, we would want to have a cup of coffee with and chat about adoption and foster care reform.

The book is available for free on Project Gutenberg, and you can likely find a republished copy on