Release Date: 6 January 2020
One summer morning, twelve-year old Edward Adler, his beloved older brother, his parents, and 183 other passengers board a flight in Newark headed for Los Angeles. Among them is a Wall Street wunderkind, a young woman coming to terms with an unexpected pregnancy, an injured vet returning from Afghanistan, a septuagenarian business tycoon, and a free-spirited woman running away from her controlling husband. And then, tragically, the plane crashes. Edward is the sole survivor.
Edward’s story captures the attention of the nation, but he struggles to find a place for himself in the world without his family. He continues to feel that a piece of him has been left in the sky, forever tied to the plane and all of his fellow passengers. But then he makes an unexpected discovery – one that will lead him to the answers of some of life’s most profound questions. When you’ve lost everything, how do you find yourself? How do you discover your purpose? What does it mean not just to survive, but to truly live?
(Synopsis from Goodreads)
Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano tells the story of Edward Adler, the twelve-year-old sole survivor of a plane crash which killed 191 people – including his parents and older brother. It is a beautiful story of learning how to live again following a terrible tragedy. If I were to describe Dear Edward in one word it would be this: incredible. A word of warning: have tissues on hand while reading this book. You will need them.
Ann Napolitano is such a gifted writer. She really understands how to draw the reader in and make you care about the characters. My heart broke alongside Edward’s in the aftermath of the plane accident which killed his immediate family. As Edward’s journey progressed throughout the novel, I found myself healing alongside him and learning an important lesson – what it means to really and truly live. I finished reading Dear Edward several days ago, but it has remained on my mind ever since. Napolitano’s writing is truly impactful.
I love how the author transitions back and forth between the past and the present throughout the novel. One chapter is set during the plane journey, while the next is set during Edward’s present day, in the aftermath of the flight. I am most impressed by how Napolitano portrays the fictional flight 2977. Napolitano takes the time to immerse the reader in the details of the flight and the passengers. You get to know several of the passengers and some of the crew members, which makes knowing the ultimate fate of these people that much more upsetting.
I have a strong feeling that Dear Edward will top the list of my favourite reads this year, and it’s only January! I cannot fault it in any way; it is a wonderful book. I am incredibly impressed by Napolitano, and am already eager to read more of her works in the future.
I would like to sincerely thank NetGalley and Penguin Books for providing me with an ARC of this book, in exchange for an honest review.
Ann Napolitano has written the novels A Good Hard Look and Within Arm’s Reach, as well as Dear Edward. Napolitano is the Associate Editor of the literary magazine One Story. Napolitano currently lives in New York with her husband and children.
Incredible. Heart breaking. Beautifully written. Inspirational. Dear Edward is a extraordinary novel.
Have you read this book? I’d love to know your thoughts in the comments below!
Waterstones (UK): here
Amazon (US): here
Amazon (UK): here