Posts Tagged ‘Jane Austen’

Katherine Reay’s debut novel is terrific!

Dear Mr. Knightley

The story is entirely told through letters. Mostly the letters of Sam, the main character, to the anonymous Mr. Knightley. It is a super book with humor, romance, tenderness, honesty, forgiveness, love, acceptance, and all that. Quotes from the classics, like Jane Austen, are written in Sam’s letters; there’s usually a bit of an explanation that goes with it so that an unfamiliar reader understands what she is referencing. Katherine Reay wrote a novel with quality characters and a believable story. I’d recommend Dear Mr. Knightly for anyone who loves a good story. And I’m looking forward to reading more from Katherine Reay. 

Katherine Reay has enjoyed a life-long affair with the works of Jane Austen and her contemporaries. After earning degrees in history and marketing from Northwestern University, she worked as a marketer for Proctor & Gamble and Sears before returning to school to earn her MTS. Her works have been published in Focus on the Family and the Upper Room. Katherine currently lives with her husband and three children in Seattle. Dear Mr. Knightley is her first novel.

Overview

Samantha Moore has always hidden behind the words of others—namely, her favorite characters in literature. Now, she will learn to write her own story—by giving that story to a complete stranger.

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, 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.

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.

Reminding us all that our own true character is not meant to be hidden, Reay’s debut novel follows one young woman’s journey as she sheds her protective persona and embraces the person she was meant to become.

Dear Mr. Knightley is a stunning debut—a pure gem with humor and heart.” —Serena Chase, USA Today

Includes Reading Group Guide

Plus Bonus Material: Q & A with Katherine Reay and Sam’s Reading List

BookSneeze provided this complimentary copy for review purposes. No other compensation was received. All opinions are my own.

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Mr Darcy’s Guide to Courtship: The Secrets of Seduction from Jane Austen’s Most Eligible Bachelor

Fitzwilliam Darcy/ Emily Brand

Old House books

July 23, 2013

paperback, 192 pages

Overview

Inspired by the works of Jane Austen, the amusingly tongue-in-cheek Mr Darcy’s Guide to Courtship is written from the perspective of Pride and Prejudice’s Mr. Darcy and closely based on real Regency advice manuals. It is a hilarious and irreverent picture of the social mores of the period and of how men thought about women – and sheds amusing light on men of the modern age, too! Readers can dip into different sections for Darcy’s views on a myriad of issues, including “What Females Want”, “The Deceptions of Beautiful Women” and “Winning Their Affections, Flattery, Making Conversation, and Flirting!” Also included are sections written by Pride and Prejudice’s Miss Caroline Bingley and Mr Darcy’s correspondence with famous Regency figures including the Duke of Wellington.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
I: Romance in the Regency Era 
II: Making Oneself Agreeable 
III: Selecting a Wife 
IV: Winning her Affections 
V: The Proposal 
Ask Darcy: Questions from Correspondents
The title suggested to me a fun and lighthearted read, something a Jane Austen fan would enjoy. This fan was disappointed. 
Written as a satirical account on Darcy and courtship in eighteenth-century England, I didn’t find this book very amusing. I thought it was too lengthy and too repetitive. 
I also don’t view Pride and Prejudice’s Mr Darcy to be as rude as he was presented in this book. Regency aristocrat, arrogant, and proud, yes, but not as preposterous as portrayed here. Just saying.
Disclosure of Material Connection: This book was provided, by Shire Publications, in exchange for an honest opinion. No other compensation was received.

 

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