Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay

Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine ReayA big “Thank You” to RachelReadsFiction blog, for recommending Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay. At first I struggled with the story being communicated by letter and a one-sided letter at that. Sam Moore is a bookish young college student with a troubled past; one that has left deep scars that keep Sam from developing relationships. Sam is a gifted writer, but struggles to fill her writing with feeling. As Sam writes letters to the anonymous Mr. Knightley, the reader discovers the deep hurt that Sam experienced and why she uses her books as a shield to keep friends away and why her work isn’t stellar. But in doing so she is hurting others and hurting herself. She longs to give love and be loved. As the letters unfold the reader travels on the journey of self-discovery with Sam, watches as she exposes herself to hurt and healing, and finally finds forgiveness, joy, and love.  Identifying with Sam was hard for me at first; like other characters in the story, she held me at bay by retreating into her books. By mid-story I couldn’t wait to read what she would reveal in her next letter, and by the end I rejoiced in her freedom. Once I reached the half-way point in the book I could not put it down and read well into the night.  I loved Father John and The Muirs, dear people who committ to mentoring Sam through her trials. I fell in love with Alex and found myself wondering what this story would have been like told from his perspective. And Kyle…watching that young man suffer and flourish through Sam’s letters was so rewarding. To sum up: slow start but excellent story. I will read more from Katherine Reay!

Book quotes:

“…I want so badly to believe that God cares, that all this matters to Him, that all this pain has a purpose, and that none of it tarnishes me forever.”

“How can I not believe that there is a God who exists and loves, when the people before me ar infused with that love and pour it out daily?  I still can’t grasp that it’s for me, but what if it is?”