Daddy Long Legs
by Jean Webster
Jerusha Abbott has grown up in the John Grier Home for orphans. As the oldest, she is in charge of the younger children. An anonymous benefactor on the Board, "Mr. Smith," decides to send her to college, as long as she writes to him faithfully detailing her education. Originally published in 1912, Jean Webster's coming-of-age tale continues to be relevant to young women today. Actress Kate Forges shares these months and years, from freshman to senior in college. Through a series of letters Jerusha writes to "Daddy-Long-Legs," a relationship filled with affection and respect develops, even though she is the only correspondent throughout the years. Although the narrative unfolds slowly, the language is sophisticated, highly descriptive, and witty. Jerusha's concern about social class standings may seem a bit dated to most listeners, as the reference to "Negro waiters"
when she is riding the train may surprise and offend some listeners. Forbes gives an outstanding one-woman performance. Her crisp elucidation, varied intonations, and enthusiasm for this character provide a first-rate reading. This tale will appeal to listeners who revel in rich, detailed imagery to present a character wholly believable and likeable.