Book review and Kindle sale: Dear Mr. Knightley: A Novel, by Katherine Reay

November 6, 2013

I recently had the chance to read Dear Mr. Knightley: A Novel, by Katherine Reay. This fiction book was just released November 5, 2013 by Thomas Nelson.

About this book (from the back cover):

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.

My Verdict:

I was pretty sure I’d like this book, as I love anything even vaguely related to Jane Austen. I was prepared for this book to be a fluffy light novel that I’d breeze through. I was not prepared for the depth of this story or the topics it covered (including the foster care system and adoption); nor was I prepared for how much I’d love it! The story is fantastic and it kept me reading long after I should have gone to bed. I loved the frequent references to novels by Austen and the Brontes, as well as other, more modern novels like Austenland. I loved the sense of place, and really got a feel for the city of Chicago. The author lived in Chicago and describes it like a native. I loved the heroine, Sam, and it was fun to watch her change and grow as the novel progressed. Some books I pass along to friends, but this book has definitely earned its place on my bookshelf.

If you’d like to check out Dear Mr. Knightley: A Novel it is currently on sale for $9.99 for the Kindle version right now, which is 38% off. (Regularly $15.99.) If you prefer a physical copy the paperback version is currently on sale for $12.85. Remember, Amazon’s prices can change at any time.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze® book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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