Dear Mr. Knightly
By Katherine Reay
Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko
Samantha Moore has always hidden behind the words of others—namely, her favorite characters in literature. Now, she will learn to write her own story—by giving that story to a complete stranger.
Sam is, to say the least, bookish. An English major of the highest order, her diet has always been Austen, Dickens, and Shakespeare. The problem is, both her prose and conversation tend to be more Elizabeth Bennet than Samantha Moore.
But life for the twenty-three-year-old orphan is about to get stranger than fiction. An anonymous, Dickensian benefactor (calling himself Mr. Knightley) offers to put Sam through Northwestern University’s prestigious Medill School of Journalism. There is only one catch: Sam must write frequent letters to the mysterious donor, detailing her progress.
As Sam’s dark memory mingles with that of eligible novelist Alex Powell, her letters to Mr. Knightley become increasingly confessional. While Alex draws Sam into a world of warmth and literature that feels like it’s straight out of a book, old secrets are drawn to light. And as Sam learns to love and trust Alex and herself, she learns once again how quickly trust can be broken.
Reminding us all that our own true character is not meant to be hidden, Reay’s debut novel follows one young woman’s journey as she sheds her protective persona and embraces the person she was meant to become.
Are you a fan of old literature? You will likely relate to Samantha. All her life she has used books as a way to deflect her real life, which was not very picture perfect. Without realizing it, she put up walls that she didn’t even know were there, and through this book, which is written in a series of letters to Mr. Knightly, she breaks down some of them to a complete stranger. Her life is changed forever, by the letter writing, and as she grows in her own life, she never is knowing whom the strange benefactor is.
This book contains a measure of realistic topics, such as child abuse, abandonment, child welfare system among others, but also the romantic side of Jane Austen lovers everywhere. The Dear Mr. Knightly book should be on every Christmas list of any woman that love literature, especially, but also those that just love a good story! This one will be one that you will be talking about for awhile. It for sure topped my 2013 reads list! I will be recommending it to many people!
I got this book from Book Sneeze for review, but the opinions contained therein are solely my own!