Dear Mr. Knightley

Dear Mr. Knightley - Katherine Reay Dear Mr. Knightley is a beautifully written book about one woman's search for her true self. Samantha's story is mostly told through her letters to a mysterious benefactor who goes by Mr. Knightley. This is such a perfect name for him since Sam is a Jane Austin fanatic. She has lived most of her life hiding in her books and often quotes from the classics in order to try to navigate social situations. This tends to keep her from really getting close to anyone. She has led a tough life and has a lot of issues with trust. Over her 15 months in graduate school, she begins to come out of her shell and start to learn to trust.

At first, Sam's constant quoting of Austin books got a little annoying. But as I got to know Sam, I understood that it was her automatic defense mechanism. In addition to her quotes, she often tries to take on the persona of the characters in her beloved books to help get herself through a situation. I was really pulling for Sam throughout the whole book. She was stronger than she gave herself credit for. A lost and lonely woman in the beginning, she soon finds herself surrounded by friends and a new family. I think the relationship that I loved the most, next to Sam and Alex, was the one between Kyle and Sam. He was another character that I was hoping to find his happy ending.

I don't want to give away too much of the plot because there are a few very sweet surprises. I know letting the reader discover them on their own will make the book that much sweeter. This is a wonderful debut by Ms. Reay. I look forward to reading more from her in the future!