This is the story of Samantha Moore, told in letters written to Dr. Knightley, the mysterious benefactor fully funding her graduate education. His only request? That she write him a letter each week, detailing life as it happens.
Samantha’s love for writing fuels her letters in the beginning, and she quickly finds in Dr. Knightley a confidante she struggles to find elsewhere, for a troubled past has left Samantha barricaded from the risk that comes with true, deep connections.
This is a story of coming to terms with ones past and future, of finding hope and peace, of finding connections amidst the joys and hurts in life.
I give this book five stars – and if I could, I would give it more. I’m likely one of very few who actually picked up this book having not read Jane Austen before – and yet now, it’s on my iPad ready to be read as well, for I’ve fallen in love with Austen’s work a bit already, just having read Reay’s work.
Samantha hides in the characters of the books she loves, because she’s afraid to be real, to be genuine. There’s a little of Samantha in all of us, I think. When I first started reading the book, I thought the premise of a book full of letters would be somewhat awkward, but quickly found myself completely immersed in Samantha’s story and the beauty of her heart spilling out onto paper. There was a purity in her abandon in letters to Dr. Knightley, and juxtaposed with her social awkwardness in the situations she recounts in those letters, you can’t help but love Samantha and root for her all the way through the book.
But it doesn’t stop there. You’ll love the other characters as well. You’ll wonder who Mr. Knightley is and wonder if you’ll ever meet him throughout the entire book. You’ll love Father John, Hannah, Kyle, Alex Powell, the Muirs & her slowly developing friendships with fellow students. You’ll even love her ruthlessly harsh journalism professor, who pushes her to the edge and then some.
You will laugh along with Samantha as you relive her days with her. You’ll struggle alongside her as she fights to find her voice in journalism school. And you’ll weep with her as she tries to let go of hurts so she can move on with what the future offers her.
I cannot say it enough – Go. Read. This. Book. Now. You won’t regret it. It has, in a matter of hours, joined the small number of books I’d consider to be my favorites. Grab a cup of hot cocoa, a blanket, and cozy up on the sofa for a read that you won’t forget – or regret.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”