Sam is, to say the least, bookish. An English major of the highest order, her diet has always been Austen, Dickens, and Shakespeare. The problem is, both her prose and conversation tend to be more Elizabeth Bennet than Samantha Moore.
But life for the twenty-three-year-old orphan is about to get stranger than fiction. An anonymous, Dickensian benefactor (calling himself Mr. Knightley) offers to put Sam through Northwestern University’s 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 memory mingles with that of eligible novelist Alex Powell, her letters to Mr. Knightley become increasingly confessional. While Alex draws Sam into a world of warmth and literature that feels like it’s straight out of a book, old secrets are drawn to light. And as Sam learns to love and trust Alex and herself, she learns once again how quickly trust can be broken.
Reminding us all that our own true character is not meant to be hidden, Katherine 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.
Praise for Dear Mr. Knightley
“Katherine Reay’s Dear Mr. Knightley kept me up until 2:00 a.m.; I simply couldn’t put it down.” —Eloisa James, New York Times bestselling author of Once Upon a Tower
“Dear Mr. Knightley is an emotional, haunting tale of hope and perseverance in the face of adversity. With depth and honesty, Katherine Reay’s debut novel will grip your heart in the very first pages and not let go.” —Sarah E. Ladd, award-winning author of The Governess at Penwythe Hall
“Katherine Reay’s touching debut novel made me cry in all the right places. For joy.” —Laurie Viera Rigler, author of Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen AddictSweet and thoughtful contemporary readStandalone novelIncludes a reading group guide, a Q&A with the author, and Sam’s reading list
After losing her husband in the Civil War, Carrie Daly is scared she will never have the family she longs for. Eligible bachelors are scarce in Hickory Ridge, Tennessee, but Carrie has found love. Not the weak-in-the-knees kind, but something practical. Still, she isn't quite ready to set a wedding date with Nate Chastain.
Griff Rutledge is a former member of Charleston society, but has been estranged from his family for years. He’s determined to remain unattached, never settling in one place for too long. But when asked to train a Thoroughbred for an upcoming race in Hickory Ridge, he decides to stay awhile.
Despite objections from the townsfolk, and her fear that true happiness has eluded her, Carrie is drawn to Griff's kindness and charm. It will take a leap of faith for them to open their hearts and claim God's promise to give beauty for ashes.