Reviews (2) Write a Review
Fresh story based on the plot of Jean Webster's Daddy Long Legs April 2, 2014
Dear Mr. Knightley: A Novel by Katherine Reay is a book that takes a fresh look at the story line from Jean Webster's 1912 novel "Daddy Long-Legs." The story is that of an orphan girl writing regular letters to a mysterious benefactor, as a condition of an educational grant for her higher education. The letters become something of a journal for the girl, as her benefactor wishes to remain anonymous, and this is very much a one-sided conversation.
I have fond memories of reading Jean Webster's novel as a teen (And now a geographical appreciation for the original's setting in New England, which I didn't remember from my reading it as a teen in Montana). This updated version changes the circumstances to some that are more familiar to the modern reader~ the foster care system operates a little differently from the orphanages of Webster's time, and the story has more depth to it in many ways than Webster's original(although I still love it, as well).
The heroine, Sam(antha) Moore uses classical literary references (most frequently from the works of Austin or the Bronte's) as protective devices, when she is unsure how to relate to people in general. I found myself chuckling at many of the quotes, and a "game" that ensued between Sam and other characters as they used those references. Definitely amusing for the book nerds among us.
The writing of letters to her benefactor becomes a cathartic experience, and a portion of the mechanism through which Sam "finds" herself. I thoroughly enjoyed "Dear Mr. Knightley," because even though the plot mimicked Jean Webster's, the story was entirely fresh and new. A fantastic read!
Thank you to the BookLook Blogger program for providing me with a complimentary copy for review~ it will be finding a place in my shelves~ it's a keeper!
Review by Elisabeth
on the brink October 28, 2013
This is a very sweet book written in a letter format.
The author combines some of the beast of literature, Austen, Bronte and Dickens themes through out the book.
The main character, Samantha Moore, seeks to make her own way in the world. The choices of submission, obedience and being willing to look at other options are constantly being presented. Will Sam be willing to take advice? Will she stick to her own plans? Is she willing to learn what grace really means?
This is a lovely story. Having 4 daughters who love literature and are at just the right age for this book, this was a good choice.
Review by Heather
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.
|Publication Date||November 5, 2013|