Dear Enemy

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Author: Jean Webster
Published: 1915
Language: English
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 68.7
LoC Category: PS
Downloads: 7,078 7314
More Info:

A gay, tender love-story about 113 orphans and a dour young Scotch surgeon who had forgotten how to smile, and of Sallie McBride, of "Daddy-Long-Legs" fame, who has a tremendous time teaching them how to laugh again.Sequel to Daddy Long-legs.

Show Excerpt

d is a mother apiece.

I plunged into this thing lightly enough, partly because you were too persuasive, and mostly, I honestly think, because that scurrilous Gordon Hallock laughed so uproariously at the idea of my being able to manage an asylum. Between you all you hypnotized me. And then of course, after I began reading up on the subject and visiting all those seventeen institutions, I got excited over orphans, and wanted to put my own ideas into practice. But now I'm aghast at finding myself here; it's such a stupendous undertaking. The future health and happiness of a hundred human beings lie in my hands, to say nothing of their three or four hundred children and thousand grandchildren. The thing's geometrically progressive. It's awful. Who am I to undertake this job? Look, oh, look for another superintendent!

Jane says dinner's ready. Having eaten two of your institution meals, the thought of another doesn't excite me.


The staff had mutton hash and spinach, with tapioca


Average Rating of 4.8 from 5 reviews: *****
Henry L. Ratliff

Plot bullets

  • Sally finds herself the administrator of an orphan home at the pleadings of her girlhood friend and a challenge from her suitor.

  • Follow a warm loving story as it unfolds in her letters to that girl, that man and one she refers to as \'Dear Enemy\'.

  • She hopes to introduce some modern ideas and quickly turn the home over to others.

  • One hundred and thirteen children, money, old attitudes and a board of directors are only some of her problems.

  • \'Dear Enemy\' is a name she gives to the home\'s doctor, as he is a stubborn Scotchman and has strong ideas of his own..

  • As the story progresses, her attitude seems to change as evidenced in her correspondence. Shakespeare\'s quote in it\'s popular usage, seems to fit nicely here: \'The lady doth protest too much, methinks\'\'.

Why someone does not turn this into a movie romantic comedy, I can\' tunderstand.


Such a charming book! I have loved Dear Enemy ever since I was very young, and I love it still, for its wit, charm and the great deal of enjoyment it entails to the reader. I highly reccomend it!


It is so great with so much fun in to its events.


I agree with Louise that it is a good read but I didn't like it as a sequel. It would have been better if they included not only Sallie's letters but Judy's as well.

Louise Ryan

If you've read Daddy-Long-Legs or even seen the film with Fred Astaire and Leslie Caron, you're sure to find Jean Webster's novel, Dear Enemy, delightful! As a sequel, this book-of-letters describes the adventures of Judy's best friend from college, Sally McBride, who reluctantly takes control of Judy's old orphanage The John Grier Home, a cranky Scottish doctor and over an hundred orphans! A delicious sense of humour and up-beat spirit for fun makes Sally an easily lovable heroine, whose capers you'll enter into as willingly as Sadie Kate does. The love story that sneaks in at the end is neither trite nor unwelcome, but finishes the story leaving us all wanting more.
five stars

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