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.
Being a Jane Austen fan, I was immediately drawn to this book. I chose to read it before even knowing what it was about. I am glad that I did!
I really enjoyed reading this book. It is written as letters from Sam to her benefactor, who goes by the name Mr. Knightley. He is paying to put her through Medill School of Journalism. She doesn't know his real name or who he is, so it is easy for her to write of her deepest fears and emotions to him. As the story progresses, you can see a difference in Sam as she goes through school and life.
Sam is a girl that went through a lot growing up in and out of foster care. She has many walls up to protect herself from people. One of her ways to deal with people is to put herself in some of her favorite characters' shoes. She quotes a lot of Jane Austen books and other classics. She considers how a character would act in any given situation and acts accordingly. It was a treat to watch her grow out of it as the story progressed.
The characters in the book are all very believable and easy to care for. The heartbreaking tales of the lives of a couple of them really adds to the story. The author has handled the theme of child abuse and its subsequent issues very well and makes you really feel for the characters.
I recommend this book to anyone that enjoys a well written, emotional story of a person's struggle to get past emotional obstacles and trust issues to find where they belong and how to be a healthy part of a relationship, whether it be as friends or more.
Thomas Nelson: http://www.thomasnelson.com/dear-mr-knightley.html
amazon: Dear Mr. Knightley: A Novel
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”