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Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay

Sunday, December 22, 2013
Synopsis: 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.

Review: A wonderful contemporary story with an entertaining heroine. Katherine Reay's debut novel Dear Mr. Knightley is a stunning story that takes readers through the struggles of Samantha Moore, a young woman struggling to find her place in the world. I enjoyed Dear Mr. Knightley very much and I found that it was a story filled with lessons on growing up, friendship, love, and family. At first, I wasn't sure if I was going to enjoy it because it was told entirely through letters. As time went on, I found myself so immersed into the story that the format no longer bothered me. I started to really enjoyed it. I would highly recommend this story to those who enjoy Dickens, Austen, and Bronte.

Rating: 4/5 DIAMONDS
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