Having a large pile of books to read means that I often don’t feel like trying to push myself through stories I’m not enjoying. Sometimes, if I don’t get drawn in right away, I get an even more negative reaction to a book because I feel forced to read it. When I agree to review a book or request one, I want to read it and share my thoughts. My commitments are something that I want to honor.
On the other hand, because of this, I sometimes feel this push to finish a book forces me to read just the few more pages I need to in order to start enjoying it. Not all books will hook every reader on the first page, or even the first chapter. Ideally they will, but it just doesn’t always happen. Such was the case for me with Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay. I’ve been seeing her novels popping up a lot recently and was quite intrigued. This was definitely a book that I’m glad I stuck with and finished.
* * * * * * *
**I received a free copy of this book from Thomas Nelson and NetGalley in exchange for my honest review**
I really did not like this book when I started it. I actually put it down with intentions of not reading it, probably two or three different times. For some reason though, I kept picking it back up. Then I reached a point where I really wanted to know what would happen to the main character in the story.
Connecting with the main character in a novel is crucial in my opinion. For this book, I just was not connecting with Samantha Moore (Sam). I think part of the reason is that the novel is predominantly (except for the last chapter or so) written in letters from Sam to a person who is going by Mr. Knightley. While we are getting a glimpse of Sam’s thoughts and what she is experiencing, there was just something that was preventing me from having any sort of emotional connection to her.
Fortunately, about a quarter of the way through the book, I really started to learn more about Sam and I felt more interested in her life. As people moved in and out of her life and she would struggle with friendships and relationships, I wanted to see that she would be alright. I wanted to see how things would end. The last third of the book became difficult for me to put it down.
This is a novel about discovering your identity and conquering the things that might hold you back. Sam Moore is a protagonist who is struggling with both due to an extremely hard past. Through her letters, that are nearly more like a diary, she is able to process the moments in her lives and the people surrounding her–throughout it all, Sam spouts quotes from all of Austen’s works, references the Count of Monte Cristo, reads Life of Pi, and just loves all things literary.
I would love to hear from you! What novels were you tempted to put down but were then rewarded by sticking with it?
For more on the author or this book, please check out the following links:
- Katherine Reay’s Website
- Visit Katherine Reay on Facebook
- Follow Katherine Reay on Twitter
- Read what Katherine Reay is reading on GoodReads
- Check out Dear Mr. Knightley on Amazon
* * * * * * *