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.
No. I haven’t read any of the classics mentioned in this book. And yes. I still VERY much enjoyed it.
I recently watched a YouTube video made by Ariel Bissett (on of my favorite BookTubers, because of her thought-provoking discussions) and it really related to me. She said that some books come into your life at different times for a reason! Sometimes, your favorite childhood book changed your life, but now it’s not as good as it was when you read it in the past…Because you needed the lessons and the storyline at that specific time in your life. Pretty crazy right? (If you want to check out her video, here’s the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5xzADPOenF0
Anyway, this book opened up my life and actually convicted me. I feel God used this book to open my eyes and show me things about myself that I really needed Him to change.
I don’t want to say too much to spoil the book, but what I can say, is if you’re a fan of contemporaries and classics, you’d love this book! Not only is the story fluffy and cute but it also deals with the broken system of foster-care and being an orphan, as well as saving physical affection for marriage. AND, because Katherine Reay just can, she sprinkled some classic flair with books like Pride and Prejudice, The Count Of Monte Cristo, Emma, and more. Ahhh…Just so elegant. *fangirl squeal*
The main character, Samantha, is having a real battle with God and she finds Him hard to believe, yet He shows Himself to her time and time again.
All in all, this is a light, but life-changing book of the story of a girl who’s hiding behind her fictional friends, and realizes the hard way that there’s more to life than books! PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE read it!
~Until next time,