Monday, November 25, 2013

Book Review - Dear Mr. Knightley


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.
Growing up orphaned and alone, Sam found her best friends in the works of Austen, Dickens, and the Brontë sisters. The problem is that she now relates to others more comfortably as Elizabeth Bennet and Jane Eyre than as herself.

Sometimes we lose ourselves in the things we care about most.
But life for this twenty-three-year-old is about to get stranger than fiction, when an anonymous benefactor (calling himself "Mr. Knightley") offers to put Sam through the 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 program and peers force her to confront her past, she finds safety in her increasingly personal letters to Mr. Knightley. And when Sam meets eligible, best-selling novelist Alex Powell, those letters unfold a story of love and literature that feels as if it's pulled from her favorite books. But when secrets come to light, Sam is --- once again --- made painfully aware of how easily trust can be broken.

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.


Katherine Reay has enjoyed a life-long affair with the works of Jane Austen and her contemporaries. After earning degrees in history and marketing from Northwestern University, she worked as a marketer for Proctor & Gamble and Sears before returning to school to earn her MTS. Her works have been published in "Focus on the Family" and the "Upper Room." Katherine currently lives with her husband and three children in Seattle. "Dear Mr. Knightley" is her first novel.

Learn more about Katherine at:


This is one of the most unusual books I've read in a long time. It was so enjoyable and I just couldn't put it down (hello...4 am and still reading!).

Sam is a girl with a sad past...parents who treated her horribly and she ended up in foster care. To cope with all this trauma in her life, she retreats into  her books - especially those of Jane Austen. She finds she can deal better with her fictional friends than friends in real life.

She has the opportunity to go to school with a grant. As part of this grant, she is required to write to Mr. Knightley, and let him know how things are going for her. This proves to be very cathartic for her. She's able to work things out in her mind and evaluate what's going on in her mind and heart.

Once in a while, she receives a letter back - not from Mr. Knightley, but from his assistant. We are left wondering who Mr. Knightley is and how this all came about.

I really enjoyed this book because I could really relate to Samantha. Her struggle with how to relate to others, and to life in general, and then we see her growth through all her many experiences. I really liked the reality of how the author portrayed her, as well as the other characters in the book.

This is one of my new favorite books and I highly recommend it! I just love all the literary references - especially to my favorite Jane Austen books. The characters were fresh and the story unusual. The perfect book in so many ways! You'll love it as much as I do!

*This book was provided to me for my honest review by LitFuse Publicity Group

Blessings - Julie

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