18 January 2014

Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay

Samantha loves books; she loves them so much that she uses them to hide when she's around other people. The problem with that defense mechanism is that she doesn't allow others to see who she really is, in turn pushing people, and their friendships, away. Then an opportunity arises to attend Medill School of Journalism by the general gift of an anonymous benefactor. The sole requirement is that Sam write letters detailing her progress to the mysterious Mr. Knightley. Through her time in Medill's program, she writes about her life, including learning to be herself in relationships, especially with a certain eligible Alex Powell, a novelist who draws her into a world filled with warmth and love.

I loved this book. From the very first page I was drawn into Sam's world - from her life situation, to her love of books, to her using beloved characters to hide behind in the world. She often quotes characters from other novels when she doesn't know what to say, and sometimes she does it so subtly that you wouldn't know unless she divulges it in the dialogue in her letters. The book is written through the pen of her letters to the mysterious Mr. Knightley, so you only know what she tells him. I love the way she describes her day to day life, her struggles with friendships, the way she talks about her favorite literary characters and how she can pull them out from her memory to use at her disposal. There were twists and turns that I think can be described in any person's life - after all, what turns out exactly as we plan?

I recommend this book for any serious book lover. If you love to read a book that talks about books, then read this book. Sam's story is also a story of hope, redemption and forgiveness, and the way that these themes are woven into the tapestry of her story is very life like. Sometimes themes like those sneak up on us, and I found it very relatable. Overall, I just loved this book and I can't wait to share it with friends.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com <http://BookSneeze.com> 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 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

1 comment:

Katherine Reay said...

Thank you so much for this lovely review. I am so pleased you enjoyed Sam's story -- I loved writing it. She surprised me at times!

Thanks again! … KBR