This title is included in Audible Escape

Dear Mr. Knightley

Narrated by: Hillary Huber
Length: 9 hrs and 48 mins
Categories: Romance, Contemporary
4.5 out of 5 stars (343 ratings)
This title is included in Audible Escape

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This Story Is Sweet

Publisher's Summary

Samantha Moore 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 23-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 dark 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.

©2013 Katherine Reay (P)2015 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"This delightful debut novel about how one young woman learns to become the person she was meant to be will resonate with fans of New Adult fiction and with readers who enjoy Jane Austen spin-offs." ( Library Journal)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Insipid

Samatha Moore, a young adult who enjoys running and reading Jane Austin, and other Victorian-type novels, is the protagonist of this epistolary novel. Nearly 100% of the story is a collection of her letters to a G. Knightly, her anonymous benefactor who pays for her to attend a master's program in journalism; a discipline she doesn't really want to engage in but gives it a whirl at the insistence of a previous mentor, Father John. Through Sam's letters to Mr. Knightly we learn about her past and current life.

Although the overall reviews are good, and I can agree the story is well written and the narration is fine, my affirmation stops there. Sam is an insipid, self-absorbed, continuous whiner. I don't discount the tragedy of her early life. Nor do I discount the reasons for her escape into books. I don't even discount that she is clueless about things most people are familiar with. What I discount is that someone as intelligent as she is could be in her early twenties and have gained absolutely no insight on anything. In short, I was bored.

In fairness to the author, I did have to ask myself was I bored because it was so one-sided? Was I bored because the action was so slow? Was I bored because the tone, whining, prevented my trust of the protagonist's story-telling? Was I bored because so much of the story telling contained the purple prose of Victorian authors and characters, all of which were obscure plot devices and at times not even on point? Someone who is unfamiliar with the allusions will be even more bored with them, although they don't particularly detract from understanding what's going on. Quite frankly, I was as annoyed with them as Sam's friends were.

Except for Sam, the other characters were well developed. Their dialogue and lives were realistic. Their reactions to Sam were normal. I liked all of them better than I did Sam, which was unfortunate since the only point of view the reader gets is hers.

Although I figured out the ending toward the middle of the book, I kept reading in hope of more, particularly given the outstanding reviews.

Samatha Moore is not a bad person. In some ways she is a victim of her childhood, like many are. A person doesn't even have to have had identical experiences to, perhaps, identify with her. I simply didn't like her. Sometimes that happens in a book. My not liking her has nothing to do with the fact that it is a well-written novel that is well read by the narrator. Others may love Sam, and that is true to life. Try the novel or not, but understand that it is a one-sided tale.

9 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Loved this book! So real.

This book made me feel, it made me relate, it made me laugh and cry. I want to see how the characters are even though the book is over.

There were spots that made me feel my own issues that I know I need to work on and it made me think.

I can't wait to listen to it again!

5 people found this helpful

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Sweet Story

What did you love best about Dear Mr. Knightley?

Loved the narrator. This was my first Audible experience, and truly got me hooked! It was the perfect listen as I went about my day! As for Katherine Reay, I love her as an author. The literary references, and deep story, make for a truly enjoyable listen!

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Charming literary piece

Definitely the book for literature lovers! many Jane Austen fans also tend to love period drama, and thus would be familiar with the story of Daddy Long Legs, as well!

This was such a clever melding of Daddy Long Legs & Jane Austen, and there are so many fun winks and plays at classic movie and literature references, even down to details in a subtle way, such as the height of the hero in the story.

But it certainly is not all fun and games, there is a lot of depth, especially when dealing with a very realistic and honest look at the foster care system, and especially the fate of most who age out.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Beautiful Book!!!

I loved this book from beginning to the end. It was wonderful and the narrator amazing. A book you shouldn't miss!

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Love this book - reading or listening.

Great book, even if you don't get all the literary references. It has a light tone, but touches on serious issues well.

2 people found this helpful

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Interesting Storytelling

It was a bit slow at the beginning but then picked up. The story was interesting. Predictable, but interesting. I enjoyed re-listening to it as well.

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Beyond excellent

I loved this book, the letters to Mr. Knightley were amazing and really let the reader get to know Samantha “Sam”. She has to write letters to Mr. Knightley (her benefactor) as part of her grad school grant which he paid for. I literally hung on to every word.
It was wonderful to see Sam, her metamorphosis was similar to that of a caterpillar becoming a butterfly. The reason was due to her opening up to Mr. Knightley. In her letters she explained her fears, her doubts and her dreams.
I was so sorry to see this book end. I want to re-listen to this book again.
Before I forget, the narrator was fantastic with her voices. Ms. Huber had the characters leap off the page, so to speak.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Almost DNF, but the performance was good.

The performance is wonderful and the only reason I was able to struggle through to the end.

The story is 3/4 too long, trite, fake and bluntly preachy, but pretends not to be. Ironically, all the harshest criticisms of the main character's writing fully apply to the book itself. That was funny to note as I listened - the only entertainment provided by the book itself (as opposed to the performance).

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excellent story!

great love story. enjoyed the characters and the plot. well done! I highly recommend this book