Skip to main content

Book Review: Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay


17657649


Summary (from Goodreads): Samantha Moore survived years of darkness in the foster care system by hiding behind her favorite characters in literature, even adopting their very words. Her fictional friends give her an identity, albeit a borrowed one. But most importantly, they protect her from revealing her true self and encountering more pain.

After college, Samantha receives an extraordinary opportunity. The anonymous “Mr. Knightley” offers her a full scholarship to earn her graduate degree at the prestigious Medill School of Journalism. The sole condition is that Sam write to Mr. Knightley regularly to keep him apprised of her progress.

As Sam’s true identity begins to reveal itself through her letters, her heart begins to soften to those around her—a damaged teenager and fellow inhabitant of Grace House, her classmates at Medill, and, most powerfully, successful novelist Alex Powell. But just as Sam finally begins to trust, she learns that Alex has secrets of his own—secrets that, for better or for worse, make it impossible for Sam to hide behind either her characters or her letters.

It took me a while to get into this book. For about the first third of the book I wasn't sure whether I liked it or not; I wasn't sold on the whole writing-long-personal-letters-to-an-anonymous-benefactor element of it, and there were some things that irritated me (such as Samantha not being allowed to choose her university course). After a while, though, it began to grow on me and I got so absorbed in the story and Samantha's development as a character that I did enjoy it for the most part. I wasn't completely convinced by the amount Samantha relates in her letters (and the length of the letters), but that was something that I could overlook for the sake of the story. As the book went on, I did enjoy it more and more, and I think the story was great. The ending, I won't say much about; I knew what was going to happen (having read Daddy-Long-Legs which this book is loosely based on) but although I wasn't 100% comfortable with it I was much happier with it than I though I would be. I think maybe I would just have liked the book to go on a bit longer so that I could see everything be fully resolved.

Overall, though, I did definitely enjoy this book and would recommend it.

Rating: 7.5/10







 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Book Review: Rose in Bloom

Summary (from Goodreads): In this sequel to Eight Cousins, Rose Campbell returns to the "Aunt Hill" after two years of traveling around the world. Suddenly, she is surrounded by male admirers, all expecting her to marry them. But before she marries anyone, Rose is determined to establish herself as an independent young woman. Besides, she suspects that some of her friends like her more for her money than for herself. I read this for the 14th Classics Club Spin. It was my third time participating, and the first that I actually completed my book on time. I'd been meaning to read this for quite some time - since I read Eight Cousins in fact, which was more than three years ago! Because of this I found the beginning part of the book a little confusing as it took me a while to remember who everyone was and so on. But that was more a fault of mine than of the book, and once I got going, I really enjoyed this, more so than Eight Cousins. I thought it was a sweet story. The main…

Weekly Poem: She walks in beauty, like the night



She walks in beauty, like the night    Of cloudless climes and starry skies, And all that's best of dark and bright    Meet in her aspect and her eyes: Thus mellowed to that tender light    Which heaven to gaudy day denies.
One shade the more, one ray the less,    Had half impaired the nameless grace Which waves in every raven tress,    Or softly lightened o'er her face, Where thoughts serenely sweet express    How pure, how dear their dwelling place.
And on that cheek, and o'er that brow,    So soft, so calm, yet eloquent, The smiles that win, the tints that glow,    But tell of days in goodness spent, A mind at peace with all below,    A heart where love is innocent.
Lord Byron

Book Review: Jane of Lantern Hill (1937)

(minor spoilers follow)
Jane and her mother live in Toronto with her grandmother, who loves her mother but bullies Jane. She has always believed that her father is dead, so she is shocked to find that he is in fact alive and living in Prince Edward Island, and  that he wants her to spend the summer with him. Jane goes determined to hate him, but instead she spends a glorious summer keeping house for her father and making friends with the locals. As time passes, both during and after the summer, Jane finds she has much to learn about herself and about life. She also tries to learn about the reasons for her parents' separation, and dreams that perhaps one day they might all be able to live together... I liked Jane. She is perhaps more ordinary than most of Montgomery's heroines; although she is still imaginative, she's not in the same class as Anne or Emily. However, this doesn't stop her from having plenty of good qualities; she is caring, brave, and determined. Althou…