Wow. It’s been a long time since I’ve read contemporary (somewhat) literary fiction. I was not disappointed. Dear Mr. Knightly was well worth the read!
Dear Mr. Knightly is written entirely in letters. As a part of her grant from a foundation, a bookworm is required to write letters to her benefactor. She has been recommended for a Journalism scholarship by the priest running the group home she lives in. She has learned to retreat into books from a young age and views everything through the lens of British classics.
She almost flunks out of school, and indeed, life in general, due to her isolation and inability to relate. The letters relate her growth and the finding of friends, new parents, and even a boyfriend. With an unexpected twist at the end.
The characters in this book were fabulous. I’m a sucker for good characters and loved them all. For the first several letters, I really identified with Sam, the main character. As she went on, I identified less because my childhood was fine; I’m just naturally socially inept :). I was, however, emotionally invested in this fellow writer. I loved the characters that made her who she was as well as the ones who embraced who she was as she tried to improve her life. The letter format worked really well. I also loved that it was set in Chicago. Because Dear Mr. Knightly was written in letters, intense local color details wouldn’t have fit very well.
The ending was really unexpected. I mean, I had thought it in the beginning but quickly dismissed it as things began to progress. I have to admit, I had forgotten all about it until just before it was revealed. Yes, I’m a tease, but I don’t want to kill the end for you. Lets just say, I couldn’t put it down once I started.
Overall, I really enjoyed everything about this book. If you enjoy characters who are writers, are overcoming incredible odds, survived bad childhoods, or love stories with struggle and redemption, this would be a great choice. I would absolutely recommend Dear Mr. Knightly. Fabulous, fabulous read!
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)
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.