Contemporary Fiction, Review

Dear Mr. Knightly by Katherine Reay

About the Book

Dear Mr. Knightly by Katherine Reay

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.

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My Thoughts

This book is a refreshing change of pace, I love the epistolary format! Dear Mr. Knightley has a rich and complex cast of diverse characters. Sam Moore’s frank honesty and guarded emotions make me want to give her a big hug and maybe shake her a little bit. I have a huge soft spot for the socially awkward (or perhaps kinship is the more appropriate word). Sam matured and gained confidence as the story progressed. I found myself urging her forward as she began to form authentic relationships and find her own voice.

I could go on and on but I am determined to keep my reviews spoiler free. This story touched my heart as a beautiful reminder that we can rise above our circumstances and insecurities when we learn to embrace life and accept the unique person God created each of us to be.

Borrowed this title from my local library. The opinions expressed are my own.


About the Author

Katherine Reay Five Favorites + #giveawayKatherine Reay has lived all across the country and Europe and has just moved with her family to Chicago. She is a writer, wife, mom, runner, and, most randomly, a tae kwon do black belt.

Her debut novel, “Dear Mr. Knightley,” is a contemporary story with a dash of Jane Austen and other nineteenth century writers thrown in for the fun of it. Her subsequent novels, “Lizzy & Jane” and “The Bronte Plot,” feature stories of hope, reconciliation, family, some seriously good food and travel. “A Portrait of Emily Price” will be released in November of this year.

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Also Available

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