Dear Mr. Knightley is Katherine Reay’s debut novel and it is a true treasure. Samantha Moore has not had an easy life as she grew up in the foster care system. She is a loner who has a profound love of literature. At age twenty-three she accepts the offer of a grant which will pay for her to attend Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. As a condition, she has to write letters to her benefactor advising of her progress. The letters are to be addressed to a Mr. Knightley.
The entire book consists of these letters and by reading them the reader is given the opportunity to follow the successes, as well as failures, of a very special and vulnerable human being. The letters are written with honesty, wit and are packed with raw emotions. Sam does keep Mr. Knightley informed about her studies, but she reveals a great deal more that goes beyond academics and literature. This is a well written story of a journey that is not without obstacles, pain and hurt, but it is also a story of growth, hope and love. The author has crafted a highly readable and compelling novel.
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