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Dear Enemy Paperback – January 1, 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 140 pages
  • Publisher: Digireads.com (January 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1420939289
  • ISBN-13: 978-1420939286
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #737,362 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Alice Jane Chandler Webster wrote under the pseudonym of Jean Webster. She was an American author and wrote many books. Besides writing short stories, she also wrote stage-adaptations of her novels. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

This is a Squeaky Clean Read for ages 16+!
Overseas Mom
The story is told in letters, and the woman writing these letters is a hoot - funny, smart, way ahead of her time.
M. Thornburg
Loved the format of the story (letters) and the story line.
Sandy

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

63 of 64 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on January 15, 2003
Format: Paperback
Jean Webster is best known for the classic Daddy Long-Legs. While it is certainly a worthy little novel, I have always preferred Dear Enemy, its lesser-known sequel. Daddy Long-Legs is vanilla, sweet and smooth. Dear Enemy is more like mint chocolate chip, refreshing with nuggets of warmth, laughter, bittersweetness. You will be enchanted by the fiery-haired Sallie McBride and her orphans.
Sallie has been asked by her college buddy, the Judy Abbott of Daddy Long-Legs, to run the John Grier Home, the orphanage Judy was raised in. A cheerful and unabashed socialite waiting for her Congressman boyfriend to propose, Sallie takes on the job on a temporary basis. Armed with her sense of humor and her firm brightness, along with her maid and her Chow doggie, she gets her heart stolen by the 100 sad-eyed charges.
The book is modeled after Daddy Long-Legs, so it is entirely composed of Sallie's stick-figure-illustrated letters to Judy, Gordon (the boyfriend), and the Home's prickly visiting doctor, whose letters are soon addressed "Dear Enemy." Her letters catalogue her daily adventures with the sweet, colorful kids, a series of cooks and farmers, sexist trustees, and grumpy neighbors. In all of this, there sparkles a strong feminine spirit, blithe optimism, and clear-headed compassion. The letters read so naturally and sure, Sallie's charm radiates whether she is amusing us with a story of orphan mischief or seriously discussing the consequences of hereditary alcoholism. The pace of the novel also clips along due to the relative shortness of the epistolary style.
As beguiling as the characters and story is, there are drawbacks that date the work (written in the 1910's) with its references to inherited behavior, social expectations, and nationalist stereotypes.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By "tessiell" on August 9, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This book captivates you from the beginning and quickly has you turning pages. The letters, written by Sallie McBride from the orphanage while engaging, are also intriguing because they reveal only one point of view. But Jean Webster masterfully builds characters through Sallie's letters. As a mother of a child from an orphanage this book tugged at my heart. But you need not be an adoptive mom to enjoy this book.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 12, 1998
Format: Hardcover
This sequel to the classic "Daddy-Long-Legs" follows Sallie McBride through a year running her friend Judy Pendleton's orphanage. Less well-known than "DLL," "Dear Enemy" is really a better book. This is not a cutesy portrayal of orphans, but an amazingly honest look at the serious, even tragic price kids can pay for their parents'-- and society's -- shortcomings.
But there's plenty of fun and humor, and a wonderful realistic-yet-romantic storyline about the importance of making a wise choice. If you want a quality story for girls, Sallie's self-confidence, independence, and intelligent optimism make her a top-notch role-model. Women readers could find a lot to love about this book, too.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By L. M Young VINE VOICE on June 18, 2008
Format: Paperback
Judy Abbot, the heroine of Webster's DADDY LONG-LEGS, has purchased her "alma mater," the unhappy John Grier Orphanage, and places it into the hands of her college roommate, Sallie McBride. Sallie considers herself as flibbertigibbet and arrives at the school with her pet chow dog and a personal maid, determined to stay only a few months until she can marry her fiancé, an up-and-coming young lawyer/politician. However, Judy is wiser about Sallie than she is about herself, and Sallie grows to love her position, releasing the children from the browbeating institutional regime that they have previously followed and devising all sorts of new schemes like camps for the older boys that will help the children when they eventually go out into the world.

Sallie also runs afoul of the orphanage's dour physician, a Scotsman named Robin MacRae, but as the story progresses, they become each other's ally as well as antagonist (it is from her salutations to him in letters that the title of the book derives).

The book contains, unfortunately, the unsettling and bigoted theories of eugenics as practiced in the early part of the 20th century. It's a bit startling and depressing today to hear college-educated adults like Sallie and Dr. MacRae talking about heredity as something that overwhelmes upbringing, so that an alcoholic's child will always need institutionalizing because he will "naturally" crave alcohol, and watching Sallie sending handicapped children away to asylums because they don't belong with "normal" children. But this was the prevalent attitude at the time, and it doesn't keep Sallie or MacRae from actually breaking from the trends of the time. In particular, there is a girl named Loretta who is what we would call today "mentally challenged.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By M. Brem on January 8, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Unfortunately the cute drawings are missing from this version, I'm glad I pre read this before reading with my kids. The whole family enjoyed listening to Daddy Long Legs on a long car trip and I was very excited when I found its sequel available for free on Amazon.

The underlying eugenics philosophy which threads through this love story was such that I do not want my kids to read this book until they are old enough to understand how "good" characters can behave badly through prejudice inherent in 1900 society.

We have several members of our family with special needs and the callous attitudes of a century ago towards "defectives" was extremely upsetting. In casual throw aways we learn that the main characters dispose of various defective children without remorse...... they don't want to waste orphanage resources on deaf, epileptic, down syndrome, traumatized children.

When they are old enough for historical context we will read this book but I will get a copy with the original illustrations.
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