I received this book for free from Tantor Audio in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay
Length: 9 hours and 48 minutes
Genres: Chick Lit, Christian, Romance
Published by Thomas Nelson Pages: 317
Source: Tantor Audio
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.
This was my first novel by this author and I wasn’t fully prepared for the writing style. Even though I listened to it instead of reading it, it was still a little different. I almost think it would be better to read than listen, but I am just not really use to books done all in letters to tell a story.
What I thought of this book.
Samantha is an orphan and she is totally wrapped up in the world of books, especially the classics. She doesn’t really know how to socialize with others and quotes her favorite classics a lot to try and get her point across. She is twenty-three and totally clueless about men. She didn’t even realize a guy who would come and see her even liked her. She wants to be a journalist and is excited to get a benefactor to put up money for her to go to grad school. The only thing he ask for in return is for her to write to him every day. He calls him self Mr. Knightley and she finds that very amusing since she loves the classics.
Through the letters she writes to Mr. Knightley she weaves a story of her life. She finds confiding in him very easy. She tells him about her grad courses and how she thinks she might fail. She has a hard teacher and she has a hard time. Before getting into this school and moving out she lived at a home for those with no place to go. She mentors a young man named Kyle and she tells Mr. Knightley about him. Samantha had a very bad childhood and she can identify with him.
One day Samantha meets author Alex Powell and through he she meets a very nice older couple. Through the letters we start to see her come out of her shell, figure out how to interact better with others and find out what makes a good journalist. It has a feeling of a modern day classic as you can see parts of Austen through out it and especially at the end.
Though I was not fond of the letter writing style I did find myself wrapped up in the story even though I am not really a huge fan of Contemporary stories. This one was cute and I did enjoy it and if you like chick lit type stories then I think you would like this one.
Hillary Huber was he perfect narrator for this book. She did a really good job with both female and male voices and brought the story to life. I wish I could have found a sample for you to listen too.