Samantha’s only friends were characters in books, but her real life takes an extraordinary turn when a mysterious “Mr. Knightley” offers her a full journalism scholarship—on the condition that she write to him regularly. Will their long-distance friendship unlock her heart?
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 that 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.
Sam’s letters to Mr. Knightley become increasingly confessional as she begins to share everything from her painful childhood memories to her growing feelings for eligible novelist Alex Powell. 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 a young woman’s journey as she sheds her protective persona and embraces the person she was meant to become.