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Dear Mr. Knightley

By Katherine Reay


Samantha Moore has always hidden behind the words of others – namely her favorite characters in literature. Now, she will learn to write her own story—by giving that story to a complete stranger.

Growing up orphaned and alone, Sam found her best friends in the works of Austen, Dickens, and the Brontë sisters. The problem is that she now relates to others more comfortably as Elizabeth Bennet and Jane Eyre than as herself.

But life for this twenty-three-year-old is about to get stranger than fiction, when an anonymous benefactor (calling himself “Mr. Knightley”) offers to put Sam through the prestigious Medill School of Journalism. There is only one catch: Sam must write frequent letters to the mysterious donor, detailing her progress.

As Sam’s program and peers force her to confront her past, she finds safety in her increasingly personal letters to Mr. Knightley. And when Sam meets eligible, best-selling novelist Alex Powell, those letters unfold a story of love and literature that feels as if it’s pulled from her favorite books. But when secrets come to light, Sam is – once again – made painfully aware of how easily trust can be broken.

Reminding us all of the courage it takes to reveal our own true character, Reay’s debut novel follows one young woman’s journey as she sheds her protective persona and embraces the person she was meant to become.


Year Title Description
2014 ACFW Carol Award Best Debut Novel
2014 ACFW Carol Award Best Contemporary Novel
2014 INSPY Best Debut Novel

Why the author wrote this book:

Although Sam has lived a very painful childhood, much of her journey, her emotions, translate to our own. And that intrigued me.


"Overall, I thought it a lovely story, one I would read again. There is a great deal of hope given to the single reader, waiting for her Prince Charming."
- Casey on December 17, 2013

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