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.Read more...
Katherine Reay'sDear Mr. Knightleykept me up until 2:00 a.m.; I simply couldn't put it down." Eloisa James, New York Timesbest-selling author ofOnce 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"
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2013-11-11
- Reviewer: Staff
Samantha Moore is more than ready to leave Grace House, the orphanage she has lived in for eight years. In order, however, to pursue her dream of writing, she remains and accepts a grant to attend journalism school. The grant holds an unusual stipulation: She must write regularly to the anonymous donor, as she would in a journal. Sam's letters, though addressed to ‘Mr. Knightley,' could just as easily have begun ‘Dear Diary.' Her elusive benefactor seems to know Sam's penchant for classic literature, pulling his pseudonym from Jane Austen's Emma. Debut novelist Reay laces Sam's speech, thoughts, and even her early journalistic endeavors with quotes and references from Austen, Charlotte Bronte, and Charles Dickens, among others. Sam's letters detail more than her academic pursuits. She shares her struggles to leave the orphanage and her tendency to hide in the words of her beloved books. The journal-entry format presents a deep first-person perspective as Sam learns to traverse the real world in search of her own happy ending. A delight for fellow lovers of the classics but also entertaining for those unfamiliar with referenced authors. (Nov.)