Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay (Booksneeze Review)

Dear Mr. Knightley: A Novel  by Katherine Reay is a book that takes a fresh look at the story line from Jean Webster's 1912 novel "Daddy Long-Legs." The story is that of an orphan girl writing regular letters to a mysterious benefactor, as a condition of an educational grant for her higher education. The letters become something of a journal for the girl, as her benefactor wishes to remain anonymous, and this is very much a one-sided conversation. 

I have fond memories of reading Jean Webster's novel as a teen (And now a geographical appreciation for the original's setting in New England, which I didn't remember from my reading it as a teen in Montana). This updated version changes the circumstances to some that are more familiar to the modern reader~ the foster care system operates a little differently from the orphanages of Webster's time, and  the story has more depth to it in many ways than Webster's original(although I still love it, as well).

The heroine, Sam(antha) Moore uses classical literary references (most frequently from the works of Austin or the Bronte's) as protective devices, when she is unsure how to relate to people in general. I found myself chuckling at many of the quotes, and a "game" that ensued between Sam and other characters as they used those references. Definitely amusing for the book nerds among us.

The writing of letters to her benefactor becomes a cathartic experience, and a portion of the mechanism through which Sam "finds" herself. I thoroughly enjoyed "Dear Mr. Knightley," because even though the plot mimicked Jean Webster's, the story was entirely fresh and new. A fantastic read!

Have you read Daddy Long Legs? Interested in Dear Mr. Knightley? Let me know in the comments!
"Dear Mr. Knightley" is available in Paperback, Library and ebook format at your favorite bookseller.
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (November 5, 2013)


1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for such a lovely review. I'm delighted you loved the story -- DDL was such a gem... It need to be shared in a new way for a new a time. :) Glad you felt the same... KBR


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