04 December 2013

Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay, Book review

  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (November 5, 2013)
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401689681


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

Landing page: 

Here are my thoughts:

We all have favourites in literature and Mr. Knightley happens to be the leading Austen male character I like best.
I was intrigued by the title of Dear Mr. Knightley (more than the bromidic cover) and the format of the novel: letters written to a sponsor willing to give a chance to someone who most needed a friend!

Katherine Reay's first novel is impressive! Her plotline is faultless and I loved to discover the letters Sam is writing in which she reveals so much of herself. 
I think most reviewers will agree it was easy to identify the benevolent sponsor but it was intriguing to see how far the author would lead her main character without revealing his/her identity! 

An enjoyable read which includes bonus material perfect for group readers.
If you are looking for a good romance to bestow on a favourite friend or family member, here is the ticket!

4 Stars!

About the Author:

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Katherine Reay has enjoyed a life-long affair with the works of Jane Austen and her contemporaries. 

After earning degrees in history and marketing from Northwestern University, she worked as a marketer for Proctor & Gamble and Sears before returning to school to earn her MTS. 

Her works have been published in "Focus on the Family" and the "Upper Room." 

Visit her website (HERE)

I received a copy of this title from LITFUSE to review . I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 255 'Guides concerning the use of endorsements and testimonials in advertising. I was not asked to write a positive review and all opinions expressed are entirely my own. 


  1. Mr. Knightley is my favorite too! My husband bought me this book for my birthday, and I can't wait to read it on my Christmas vacation.

    Btw, the Christmas picture book arrived and looks fantastic. Thanks again!

  2. I find the Emma (2009 BBC Version) starring Romola Garai, Jonny Lee Miller and Michael Gambon portrays my favourite Mr. Knightley!
    I am so glad you liked the book!
    Enjoy the season!


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