Dear Mr. Knightley: A Novel

Dear Mr. Knightley: A Novel

by Katherine Reay
4.3 95

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Dear Mr. Knightley: A Novel by Katherine Reay

“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. 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

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781401689698
Publisher: Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
Publication date: 11/12/2013
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 128,062
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Katherine Reay has enjoyed a life-long affair with the works of Jane Austen and her contemporaries—who provide constant inspiration both for writing and for life. She is the author of three previous novels, and her debut, Dear Mr. Knightley, was a 2014 Christy Award Finalist, winner of the 2014 INSPY Award for Best Debut, and winner of two Carol Awards for Best Debut and Best Contemporary. Katherine holds a BA and MS from Northwestern University and is a wife, mother, runner, and tae kwon do black belt. After living all across the country and a few stops in Europe, Katherine and her family recently moved back to Chicago. Visit her on line at Facebook: katherinereaybooks Twitter: @Katherine_Reay

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Dear Mr. Knightley 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 95 reviews.
book4children More than 1 year ago
Where do I start with this book? It was beautiful. I loved every page and I only wish there was more of it. This is the kind of book that I love reading. It is a book of self discovery, friendship, and true love. I loved the characters. All of them. Sam is an intriguing heroine that you can't help but adore. This was an emotional read for me. I know it won't be for everyone. I just have a huge soft spot for foster kids and their unique trials. I did a lot of (not so) subtle eye swiping while reading. This is a beautiful debut. If you are looking for a fresh new voice in literature, one that will make you laugh, cry, and leave you with a smile on your face, then give Dear Mr. Knightley a try. Content: clean
Fitzysmom More than 1 year ago
I am a big Jane Austen fan so when I saw the title of this book I immediately snatched it up. Imagine my surprise when I started reading and realized this was not a Jane Austen knock-off. Was I disappointed? Not in the least! In fact I think I have just added a book to my top ten list for the year. This is Katherine Reay's debut novel but it does not read like one. The depth of emotion that this story evokes is overwhelming at times. Through the character of Samantha Moore we are taken into the world of the foster care system. Some of it good and nurturing but a lot of it broken and damaging.  A simple classification of this tale would be to characterize it as a love story. As with most love stories it is complex. It involves the love of a man for a woman but it also involves adults that love a child even when that child is an adult herself. If you enjoy deeply emotional and beautifully written literature I can almost guarantee that you will love this piece of work. Let me leave you with a couple of my favorite quotes from the book: "The day we forget the horror, Sam, we will repeat it. Never forget your past. It will make you less human, less than human." "I've heard all sorts of things about a kiss (melting, fireworks, music), but no one ever told me it's a conversation: asking, accepting, deciding, inviting, giving . . . questions posed and answered.I received a copy of this book to facilitate my review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a good book, although at times the narrative gets kind of stodgy and too convoluted. It is a pretty close copy of the book Daddy Long Legs. I knew that about halfway through the book. Not an original story, but I enjoyed it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I LOVED this book. This is a modern version of Daddy Long Legs, but it was different and modern enough to enjoy even if you've read the other. It was full of lovely quotes from many books, and the writing was eloquent and beautiful. If you love Jane Austen, you'll love this book, but even if you haven't read much Austen, you will probably enjoy it too.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thoroughly enjoyed this book. Touching, warm, a light summer refreshment.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was by far one of the best books i have read. The depth and the detail and the beautifully woven story line all come together to create this wonderful book. Many books are good some books are great an then there are books that really make you think, books that draw you completly inside of them til you are lost in its magical tale. I finished this book in one night, the plot is fantablous and there are some great thought or ideas that you can take away from this writing. As in most books there might be that one part that drags or gets a bit boring based on your preference of writing style, but i promise that if you read this book cover to cover you will be so happh you did ;)... I have nothing bad to say :)!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I absolutely adored this book. After finishing, I probably reread the ending about ten different times within the same day. It is just so incredible! I would definitely recommend this book, it has become a new favorite of mine.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wonderful read; couldn't put it down til the last page
Liz51 More than 1 year ago
This is a modern day story of a girl in foster care who retreated into books to help her cope. The book is a series of letters written to an unknown person named Mr. Knightley as a condition of receiving funds to go to college. The growth of the main character is a joy to watch.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The story room me by surprise. Complete surprise. In a very good way! I enjoyed this book immensely. I loved watching the characters develop into the people who they were either intended to become or whom they doomed themselves to being.
BethErin More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great story
jacksonmomLV More than 1 year ago
GiltBuckram More than 1 year ago
“If you don’t sail high, with the risk of crashing and burning, do you really live? Can you love? I doubt it. I’m ready to fly.” -Samantha Moore My husband’s family has an annual tradition of camping the entire week of Thanksgiving. So, nine days in the middle of nowhere, campfire, and absolutely zero technology = the perfect setting for indulging in my favorite genre . . . the classics with a twist. Perpetual foster kid, Samantha Moore, has led a rough and tumultuous life with no real direction. Grace House and Father John have been her only tie to anything remotely resembling family, but Samantha is determined to make it on her own–she stubbornly rejects any and all help offered to her. Fatefully, she is offered a scholarship to attend Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, one of her requirements is to write to the anonymous benefactor who is funding her scholarship, his pseudonym being George Knightley. Throughout her successes and failures, she struggles to let her protective wall down and let people in. Mr. Knightley proves to be an unlikely source where she can voice and vent all her fears, hopes, and anxieties; he is her starting point to reveal who she really is, but who is this mysterious Mr. Knightley? I know I’ve bragged on Katherine Reay before, in my review of The Bronte Plot, but y’all (pardon my colloquialism), she’s the real deal and if you adore British literature, she’s your ticket to modern literature. Dear Mr. Knightley was her debut novel that set her writing career afire and our thirst for the classics has been quenched (for the time being) through Reay’s work. Here’s a plus: not only does Reay have a love for the classics, she’s well-versed in them–the lady knows her material. When she makes references to Charlotte, comparisons between Willoughby and Colonel Brandon, you feel like you’ve been inducted into a secret club, you get it and it’s the most wonderful feeling. “I got a girl crush . . . ” on Katherine Reay. Recently Gilt & Buckram interviewed Katherine Reay which can be read here. I’m going to give you a dangling carrot: My next review will be Lizzy & Jane…eek! **** 4 Stars Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay 336 Pages Published 2013 by Thomas Nelson Genre: Fiction, Modern Literature, Romance, Women’s Fiction ISBN-13: 978-1401689681 *Disclaimer: This paperback was received by the author in exchange for an honest review. Gilt & Buckram . . . the framework that holds adventure.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved that this novel was written in letter format. And absolutely loved the small glimpse into the foster system. The stories of new families were my absolute favorite.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I always pick up one of these kinds of books with equal parts anticipation and trepidation. I knew by the time I finished the 4th letter that I loved this book -- no matter what the twists and turns of the plot would be. This is not a retelling of an Austen story or borrowing Austen characters; it is not a prequel or a sequel. It is inspired by Austen and a love of reading. It is a completely Austen story of a heroine who is on a voyage of self-discovery and grows in discernment in a close circle of family and friends. Sam's story is told entirely through the series of letters she writes to her benefactor -- Mr George Knightley.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A beautiful story filled with love, compassion, hurt, struggle, choices and our ability to keep going, to make it. To help others when we are able and to learn and receive help when we need it. In spite of pride or fear. This story is really a great read...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am a huge fan of the romance classics and this book did not disappoint! I couldn't put it down and will read it again and again. Looking forward to the next novel by this amazing author! I have already preordered. I love this novel !!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great characters hard to put down
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Much as i enjoy Austen, I'm pretty tired of spinoffs. But when I saw this was a retelling of the lovely and lesser-known Daddy Long Legs, I tried the sample. Unfortunately, I couldn't even get through that. Sam lacks the spunk and joie de vivre of the irrepressible Judy. By contrast, Sam is depressing and flat and hard to care about. Try the sample before you buy!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A wonderful novel - highly recommend. Well written, thought-provoking.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Think mary picford was in first movie version first book still in nook book