cover image Dear Mr. Knightley

Dear Mr. Knightley

Katherine Reay. Thomas Nelson, $15.99 trade paper (336p) ISBN 978-1-4016-8968-1

Samantha Moore is more than ready to leave Grace House, the orphanage she has lived in for eight years. In order, however, to pursue her dream of writing, she remains and accepts a grant to attend journalism school. The grant holds an unusual stipulation: She must write regularly to the anonymous donor, as she would in a journal. Sam's letters, though addressed to %E2%80%98Mr. Knightley,' could just as easily have begun %E2%80%98Dear Diary.' Her elusive benefactor seems to know Sam's penchant for classic literature, pulling his pseudonym from Jane Austen's Emma. Debut novelist Reay laces Sam's speech, thoughts, and even her early journalistic endeavors with quotes and references from Austen, Charlotte Bronte, and Charles Dickens, among others. Sam's letters detail more than her academic pursuits. She shares her struggles to leave the orphanage and her tendency to hide in the words of her beloved books. The journal-entry format presents a deep first-person perspective as Sam learns to traverse the real world in search of her own happy ending. A delight for fellow lovers of the classics but also entertaining for those unfamiliar with referenced authors. (Nov.)