“Katherine Reay's Dear Mr. Knightley kept me up until 2:00 a.m.; I simply couldn't put it down." —Eloisa James, New York Times best-selling author of Once Upon a Tower
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.
“Dear Mr. Knightley is a stunning debut—a pure gem with humor and heart.” —Serena Chase, USA Today
Includes Reading Group Guide
Plus Bonus Material: Q & A with Katherine Reay and Sam’s Reading List
|About the Contributor(s)||Katherine Reay
Katherine Reay has enjoyed a life-long affair with the works of Jane Austen and her contemporaries, and her favorite authors also include C. S. Lewis, Madeline L’Engle, Charles Dickens, J.R.R. Tolkien, John Piper, Timothy Keller, and the Bronte sisters. After earning degrees in history and marketing from Northwestern University, Katherine worked as a marketer for Proctor & Gamble and Sears before returning to school to earn her MTS. Katherine is an avid runner and a black belt in Tae Kwon Do. Her works have been published in Focus on the Family and the Upper Room. After living all over the world (including London), she currently lives with her husband and three children (with a great sense of permanency) in Seattle. Dear Mr. Knightley is her first novel.
|Release Date||Nov 5, 2013|
- Review by Elisabeth
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! (Posted on 4/1/2014)
- Review by Heather
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.
(Posted on 10/28/2013)