THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
‘Astonishing’ Marian Keyes
A luminous, life-affirming novel about a 12-year-old boy who is the sole survivor of a deadly plane crash
One summer morning, a flight takes off from New York to Los Angeles. There are 192 passengers aboard: among them a young woman taking a pregnancy test in the airplane toilet; a Wall Street millionaire flirting with the air hostess; an injured soldier returning from Afghanistan; and two beleaguered parents moving across the country with their adolescent sons, bickering over who gets the window seat. When the plane suddenly crashes in a field in Colorado, the younger of these boys, 12-year-old Edward Adler, is the sole survivor.
Dear Edward depicts Edward’s life in the crash’s aftermath as he struggles to make sense of the meaning of his survival, the strangeness of his sudden fame, and find his place in the world without his family. In his new home with his aunt and uncle, the only solace comes from his friendship with the girl next door, Shay. Together Edward and Shay make a startling discovery: hidden in his uncle’s garage are sacks of letters from the relatives of the other passengers, addressed to Edward.
As Edward comes of age against the backdrop of sudden tragedy, he must confront some of life’s most profound questions: how do we make the most of the time we are given? And what does it mean not just to survive, but to truly live?
HERE ARE MY THOUGHTS AND REVIEW
When you first meet the Adler family they are moving from New York to Los Angeles. All their stuff has been packed up while they fly off to a new life. I found out a little about their lives as each of them have thoughts about each other and the little things that make them who they are. Mum is in first-class while dad, fifteen-year-old Jordan and twelve-year-old Eddie are travelling a further 29 rows down the plane away from her, a perk of her job. But of the 192 people that take off on the plane, there is only one survivor found after it crashes. Eddie.
Eddie’s only relatives are Aunt Lacey and Uncle John, a childless couple that longed for a baby that couldn’t survive. With no experience to call anything of bringing up children, never mind one who is struggling to know why he alone has survived, they go in blind determined to support their nephew in every way. The girl next door befriends, Edward the name he now uses, and she becomes his rock.
Edward is either loved and almost worshipped or hated and avoided these days. It is quite heartbreaking at times the lengths that some will go to get a photo of him. The supporting characters in the story are amazing from his headteacher to his psychologist. His body is healing far quicker than his mind though as he suffers PTSD in the gym at school, which almost loses him the only friends that he has.
When Edward finds bags of post in the garage where his uncle has made his man cave, it begins a new chapter of healing for Edward, with the support of Shay. Oh my, this story just rocketed. The story covers a number of years from Edward as a boy to Edward as a mature young man.
Set on two timelines which were so very clever. The first is from the Adler family entering the airport, their thoughts and the other people that Edward sees on the plane, with snippets of their lives too, up to the moment that Edward is found in the plane wreckage, so this account only covering a few hours. The other covers years of Edward and the life journey he has ahead of him. Just fabulous writing. The build-up to the crash just overwhelmed me completely, it couldn’t have been written better. I loved the ending.
The is a stunning story that I won’t be able to forget, not that I want to. Highly recommended.
I wish to thank NetGalley and the publisher for an e-copy of this book which I have reviewed honestly.
HERE, IS A LITTLE ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ann Napolitano’s new novel, Dear Edward, was published by Dial Press in January 2020. She is the author of the novels A Good Hard Look and Within Arm’s Reach. She is also the Associate Editor of One Story literary magazine. She received an MFA from New York University; she has taught fiction writing for Brooklyn College’s MFA program, New York University’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies and for Gotham Writers’ Workshop.
Dear Edward was published by Dial Press in the United States, and by Viking Penguin in the United Kingdom. The novel currently has fifteen international publishers.
Ann lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two children.