The only requirement is that she must write regular letters to the man (to whom she gives the nickname Daddy-Long-Legs), though she is not to know his real name, and he never writes back to her. After a short chapter at the beginning which introduces the situation, the entire book is in the form of Judy's letters to the enigmatic Daddy-Long-Legs (with some crazy drawings thrown in).
Judy has a very engaging personality that shines brilliantly through her correspondence. In fact, her disposition is so bright and charming that she seems less like a college girl and more like a twelve-year-old. She's certainly not an always-optimistic Polyanna, but she really seems quite childish, albeit in a funny and endearing way. Here's a great example:
"Speaking of classics, have you ever read Hamlet? If you haven't, do it right off. It's perfectly corking. I've been hearing about Shakespeare all my life, but I had no idea he really wrote so well; I always suspected him of going largely on his reputation."
Webster should have had Judy going away to boarding school instead of college. Even so, and despite being overly sentimental at times, this is such a nice little story.
The ending was so perfectly, exactly what I wanted that I nearly cried. (Let's be clear, though: notice I said nearly. Which doesn't really count.) It didn't even bother me that I guessed what there was to be guessed long before it was revealed. I was just so happy that that the ending was just right.
There's a sequel! It's called Dear Enemy. And guess what? Amazon has a free kindle version of it. I know better than to think I'll be diving into it right away, but it's nice to have it waiting for me until I'm ready.