A while back I confessed to you my love for all things written. Over the years I’ve read more books than I can count, much less remember and if I were asked what my favorite book was, I would have a difficult time answering. I might could tell you some of my top 20 but narrowing it down from there would just be futile. Our conversation would go something like this:
You: “So what’s your favorite book?”
Me: “The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini… yeah, that’s it. No, no it has to be Savannah by Eugenia Price… well maybe Sister Mary Margaret or Quaker Summer by Lisa Samson or Beach Music by Pat Conroy. Oh wait, it’s got to be the Mark of the Lion Series by Francine Rivers or Wrapped in Rain by Charles Martin. No, it is definitely The Historian, no Pillars of the Earth or Steven King’s 11/22/63. Yeah, I can’t name just one favorite.”
My Ansley sent me a book. Nothing special because she sends me lots of books but this book had an interesting name to say the least. So I promptly put it on the shelf and forgot about it (Oops!!) Until the other day, I pulled if off the shelf and, no lying, 8 hours later I was finished. It was so much more than I expected and nothing like I ever dreamed it would be after reading the back of the book. I could relate on so many levels and none of them the obvious ones. It pulled me in like very few books ever have and I simply got lost in it. Those people became my friends and I rejoiced when they rejoiced, cried when they cried and it was so bittersweet to see them go.
Now I don’t want to build it up too much because then no matter how good it is, you will be disappointed. And if I’m being truthful, this book may mean nothing to you. You may read it and simply be underwhelmed. I’m okay with that. That is also when I realize again how much I love this book because while I want you to read it and love it, even if you don’t… I still do.
Isn’t that why writers write? To change us, move us, make us more aware of who we really are? To show us a flaw in our character that no one else could point out to us and remain in our life? To let us see if only for a moment who we could really be if we only believe in ourselves and are completely honest with those we love? To challenge us, push us and, dare I say, better us? I don’t read so these things will happen but when they do it is a gift. I read to relax, get away, learn and even to occupy my mind when I’m worried. So when a book like this comes along and I close it knowing I’ve learned something unexpected about myself? That to me makes it a GREAT book.
So, do yourself a favor and go to your local bookstore today and purchase Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay. This may be the first book she has ever written, but friends I can promise you if we are fortunate, it won’t be her last.
***Just to be clear, even though I was given this book for free, I have not been paid to read it, write about it or love it! I am nothing if not honest when it comes to books. After all, they were my first love.