Dear Mr. Knightley: A Review

Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay

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  may have been the saddest book I’ve read in a while. This book was incredibly sad, but packed with incredible characters. The Muirs, Stanleys, Father John and of course Alex Powell, they all played essential roles in the book. I had some ups and downs with this book. One of the main topics of this book is child abuse. And that is a really hard topic to read, I’d think for anybody to read.

I think Reay definitely did a great job on how rough orphaned children and fostering can really be. She took it into great detail, without it being too vulgar or too R rated. And I do like how almost all of it was in letter form, I love books like that.

Also, I did love the main character Sam, she was strong and had no stopping in the sarcasm department. And never ending quotes from classics, which Ill admit I’ve only read half. But sometimes she got so sad, and so down about everything when she spent all this time just trying to survive and see the future so brightly it was kind of sad when she felt differently.

Finally I can say I think the book was 50 times better when Alex Powell stepped into Sams life. This made me smile and frown through every page. Austen fans, Bronte fans, I think will surely love this.

I was given this book for free for my review from BookSneeze (


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