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Dear Mr. Knightley: A Novel Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (November 5, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 140168968X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401689681
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (268 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #34,696 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Katherine Reay has enjoyed a life-long affair with the works of Jane Austen and her contemporaries. After earning degrees in history and marketing from Northwestern University, she worked as a marketer for Proctor & Gamble and Sears before returning to school to earn her MTS. Katherine lives with her husband and three children in Seattle, WA. Dear Mr. Knightley was her first novel. Twitter: @Katherine_Reay Facebook: katherinereaybooks

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Customer Reviews

Very real with complex characters and a true love story.
InSpiritNTruth5
Katherine Reay's debut novel Dear Mr. Knightley drew me in with its Jane Austen reference in the title.
Lisa Bartelt
What I most liked about the book was how the story was told through one-sided letters.
D. Kinney

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Rel of Relz Reviewz on November 5, 2013
Format: Paperback
Sometimes you are given a gift that everyone assures you will be delightful but you aren’t entirely sure the contents will be too your liking. The wrapping is appealing and the shape looks intriguing but you are still uncertain. You open it up and you are surprised by its unique richness and you wonder why you ever doubted! That was Katherine Reay’s debut novel for me. I loved the premise, the cover was beautifully fanciful but a book composed entirely of letters? To write such an epistolary novel and pull it off successfully is hard – and a debut novelist? I admit to a little skepticism but I’m thrilled to say Katherine pulled it off beautifully, and then some!

Dear Mr Knightley captivated me, heart and soul, from beginning to end. The characters are beguiling to a fault ~ Sam’s awkwardness, Kyle’s brokeness, Mrs Muir’s gentleness, Alex’s charm, the Professor’s protectiveness ~ each quickly wove their way into my heart. Katherine is a master of emotive prose, easily evoking my empathy, anger, passion, and eventually tears as Sam discovers that she is precious and worthy of love. There is a cleverness to Katherine’s writing that is deeply refreshing ~ wry humour, romantic tenderness, and heart shattering honesty pour from these pages, as do wonderful quotes from the classics that readers will delight in discovering. Simply put, I adored this story and am thrilled beyond measure that 2014 will bring me another dose of Katherine’s fabulous talent with Lizzy and Jane. Until then, I will comfort myself with additional readings of Dear Mr Knightley ~ yes, it is that good!
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By G.C on January 27, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Any avid Christian Fiction reader must have heard of Katherine Reay's ''Dear Mr. Knightley''. Since its release last year, this novel has received nothing but glowing praise and it was with great anticipation that I grabbed a copy of it. For me, it started out well, really well. I could tell by the author's rich, gorgeous voice that she was a seasoned writer; her introduction of the main character simply drew me in. We meet Samantha Moore, a soul secretly hurting and hiding behind personas (a creative quirk, I found. Kudos to Reay). I had a feeling healing would flow for the wounds of Samantha's past and that by the end of it all, hers would be a beautifully rendered story. But halfway through the book, I found myself frustrated. Especially at her. Words cannot express how enigmatic this character is and as much as I tried, I simply could not decipher Samantha. What I first thought to be vulnerability in her came across as frustrating naivety. At times, she seemed approachable and willing to reach out to others, then she would suddenly close up on herself and was not as nice as before. There were simply too many contradictions. I just couldn't connect.

Unfortunately, Samantha's relationships didn't help the situation, because honestly, except for Father John, Kyle and even Hannah, I felt like most of the secondary characters were really distant. Something about their affiliation with the heroine seemed forced. Just as I was about to lose hope, lo and behold, in walks the great Alex Powell. I was so sure that he was the solution to it all! The more I kept hoping the more I realized he was running away from the heroine. There were sweet moments between the two but, mercy, I was wishing for more -- way more!

Long story short, I really didn't think I would end up liking '' Dear Mr.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Rissi on November 5, 2013
Format: Paperback
Dear Mr. Knightly tells the picturesque story of a young woman named Samantha who is not only an orphan, but a girl who's made - nearly - one mistake too many. After attempting to make it on her own, she's forced to return to the safety of Grace House, the place she grew up in and try earning back the scholarship offered by a mysterious benefactor who is known to her only as "Mr. Knightley." When the man agrees to reinstate Sam's scholarship, the only stipulation he asks is that she write him letters detailing her progress. During her year of journaling through letters, Sam learns the meaning of independence, self-worth and maybe... even love.

Jane Austen has inspired thousands of contemporary pieces of candied fiction - both literary and cinematic. New author Katherine Reay uses the popularity of Austen-esque inspiration and crafts her story into a magnificently unique novel. One of 2013's debut authors, already Katherine has established herself as a name to keep an eye on. In `Mr. Knightley,' readers are swept up on an emotional journey of hope, healing and finding home. I have to be honest, when I was ready to read the book, in my typical reading habitual, I'd paged through the novel and read the author note prior to seriously reading it, and my opinion wasn't were I wanted it to be. This can be traced back to one thing - the style in which the book is written. Aside from an epilogue, the story is told, not just in the first person but entirely through letters, and it was a context that made me read with trepidation. Nonetheless I went through with reading and oh my, what a treat Dear Mr. Knightly was. These are the best kind of novels.

Ripping up the "rules" for a usual contemporary novel, Reay reinvented the familiarity of the genre.
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