Publisher: Thomas Nelson Publishing
Date of publication: November 2013
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.
Dear Mr. Knightley is a beautifully written book about one woman's search for her true self. Samantha's story is mostly told through her letters to a mysterious benefactor who goes by Mr. Knightley. This is such a perfect name for him since Sam is a Jane Austin fanatic. She has lived most of her life hiding in her books and often quotes from the classics in order to try to navigate social situations. This tends to keep her from really getting close to anyone. She has led a tough life and has a lot of issues with trust. Over her 15 months in graduate school, she begins to come out of her shell and start to learn to trust.
At first, Sam's constant quoting of Austin books got a little annoying. But as I got to know Sam, I understood that it was her automatic defense mechanism. In addition to her quotes, she often tries to take on the persona of the characters in her beloved books to help get herself through a situation. I was really pulling for Sam throughout the whole book. She was stronger than she gave herself credit for. A lost and lonely woman in the beginning, she soon finds herself surrounded by friends and a new family. I think the relationship that I loved the most, next to Sam and Alex, was the one between Kyle and Sam. He was another character that I was hoping to find his happy ending.
I don't want to give away too much of the plot because there are a few very sweet surprises. I know letting the reader discover them on their own will make the book that much sweeter. This is a wonderful debut by Ms. Reay. I look forward to reading more from her in the future!
About the author:
Katherine Reay has lived all across the country and Europe and is now settled with her family in Seattle. She is a writer, wife, mom, runner, and, most randomly, a tae kwon do black belt. Her debut novel "Dear Mr. Knightley" (ThomasNelson/HarperCollins) will be released 11/05/13. It is a contemporary story with a dash of Jane Austen and other nineteenth century writers thrown in for the fun of it.
Debut author Katherine Reay is celebrating the release of her delightful novel, Dear Mr. Knightley, with a Kindle Fire HDX giveaway, a fun Favorite Austen Moments Pinterest contest, and an Austen-themed Facebook Party.
One winner will receive:
- A Kindle Fire HDX
- Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay
- Handmade Austen-themed items (scarf, mug, bracelet, and necklace)
Two ways to win! Enter today by clicking one of the icons below or participating in the Pinterest contest (see banner below)—or BOTH!
But hurry, the giveaway ends on December 3rd. Winner will be announced at the "Dear Mr. Knightley" Austen-themed Facebook Author Chat Party on the 3rd. Join Katherine (and Austen fans) for an evening of book chat, prizes, and an exclusive look at Katherine's next book.
So grab your copy of Dear Mr. Knightley and join Katherine on the evening of December 3rd for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)