I’m writing this a few months after reading the book. (It’s been a busy semester and other reviews got pushed ahead of this one…) But this is the third book I read on my 24 hour trip home for Christmas and while I did have to close my eyes a few times on the third and last flight I did finish this delightful book before touching down at home.
Dear Mr. Knightley is a contemporary epistolary novel with a delightful dash of Jane Austen.
Samantha Moore survived years of darkness in the foster care system by hiding behind her favorite characters in literature, even adopting their very words. Her fictional friends give her an identity, albeit a borrowed one. But most importantly, they protect her from revealing her true self and encountering more pain.
After college, Samantha receives an extraordinary opportunity. The anonymous “Mr. Knightley” offers her a full scholarship to earn her graduate degree at the prestigious Medill School of Journalism. The sole condition is that Sam write to Mr. Knightley regularly to keep him apprised of her progress.
As Sam’s true identity begins to reveal itself through her letters, her heart begins to soften to those around her—a damaged teenager and fellow inhabitant of Grace House, her classmates at Medill, and, most powerfully, successful novelist Alex Powell. But just as Sam finally begins to trust, she learns that Alex has secrets of his own—secrets that, for better or for worse, make it impossible for Sam to hide behind either her characters or her letters.
I certainly enjoyed this book while reading it but the characters didn’t stick with me. Though that might be because I had hardly slept in 24 hours when I read it. Flipping back through it now makes me want to reread it and savor all the references to Austen and Bronte classics.
Samantha Moore, Sam, is an interesting character to get to know. Life hasn’t been easy and I think the author did a good job portraying Sam’s fears and the rational for her actions. Her story sucks you in and makes you hope she figures out what she’s looking for and can find it.
If you enjoy epistolary novels, characters that overcome difficult childhoods, and lots of quotes and references to classic books than you should give this book a try.
Go read it! Findit at a library near you; Buy it from Amazon ($9.99 / $14.39); Buy it from ChristianBooks.com ($9.99 / $11.99); Buy it from Barnes & Noble ($9.99 / $14.69)
Prices are good as of May 18, 2014 for the ebook/ paperback edition. Please double check for yourself.
Disclosure: I received these book for free from the publisher via NetGalley. 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.
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