Wednesday, April 5, 2023

Dear Mr. Knightley

Title: Dear Mr. Knightley

Author: Katherine Reay

Genre: Epistolary, Fiction, Christian Fiction, Contemporary Fiction

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Source: Own

Challenges: 23 in '23, Books about Books

My review:

I have had Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay for quite a while. I have also wanted to read it for a long time. I should have.

However, I am glad to have waited because I would not have known that it was based on Daddy Long Legs by Jean Webster.

From the cover and title of the book you expect a light read. Having just read Daddy Long Legs, I was expecting this to be on the lighter side. However, it is heavy and weighted at the beginning.

While it is somewhat of a heavier read, it is also endearing and heart-achingly beautiful. Reay is not afraid to tackle hard things and bring beauty from the broken. Once I got passed my expectation for it to be light like Daddy Long Legs, I thoroughly enjoyed the story and the differences from Daddy Long Legs, and had a difficult time putting the book down. I have not read Emma, from which Dear Mr. Knightley gets his name, but now I want to. I have been hit or miss with Austen's books, so that is saying something. I believe fans of Austen will enjoy the nods to her work and other literary references.



Synopsis (Goodreads): 

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.


  1. I think I would really like this one! :D

    1. Lark, I think so too, especially since you loved Daddy Long Legs!

  2. It's been a while since I read this one, but I remember really enjoying it. One of the things I really like about Reay is that she is not afraid to tackle difficult topics. I read Emma last year and really enjoyed it. Here's the link to my review:

  3. I loved this book too! I hope you'll enjoy your next Austen book.

  4. I did NOT expect to enjoy or like this book in the least, and yet, I did. It's such a heartwarming novel and one I definitely should take the time to re-read. :)

    1. Rissi, I didn't either! It was so good! Have you read Daddy Long Legs?!

  5. Oo, this sounds good. And the cover is cute. Great review, Cindy!