DEAR EDWARD by Ann Napolitano

A heart-wrenching, 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 187 passengers aboard: among them a Wall Street millionaire; a young woman taking a pregnancy test in the airplane toilet; a soldier returning from Afghanistan; and two beleaguered parents moving across the country with their adolescent sons. 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 recounts the stories of the passengers aboard that flight as it hurtles toward its fateful end, and depicts Edward’s life in the crash’s aftermath as he tries to make sense of the loss of his family, the strangeness of his sudden fame, and the meaning of his survival. As Edward comes of age against the backdrop of sudden tragedy, he must confront one of life’s most profound questions: how do we make the most of the time we are given?’


Title : Dear Edward
Author : Ann Napolitano
Format : Hardcover
Page Count : 368
Genre : Literary Fiction
Publisher : Viking
Release Date : February 20, 2020

Reviewer : Micky
Rating  : ★ ★ ★ ★


Micky’s 4 star review

Less is going to be more with this review, so I will try and encapsulate my feelings on this memorable book. Told in alternating perspectives from Edward the sole survivor of a plane crash and various passengers on the plane, this story was structured and unfurled in the perfect way. Edward grew from the broken 12 year old to a young man and it was a painful, aching process as he grieved.

Edward feels barren on the inside. There’s nothing alive in him. Food seems not only unnecessary but irrelevant.

Ann Napolitano took the approach of show and not tell when it came to grief journeys and I think she nailed a possible individual experience rather perfectly. I couldn’t personally relate to Edward’s experience but man, did I feel it. With the passangers, Napolitano crafted individuals that you got to know and cared for (at least most of them), including their relatives.

The slow growth of the story was a strength of this book, I never knew what was around the meandering corner for Edward. His friendship with Shay felt realistic and beautiful. The last quarter of the book took my breath away whilst filling my tear ducts simultaneously as everything came together.

What a character driven book this was. Edward was a boy and young man to root for and his journey was compelling. Everything about this book was unique and unforgettable.

2 thoughts on “DEAR EDWARD by Ann Napolitano”

  1. This book was EVERYWHERE when it came out, and I was a bit intimidated at first, but in the end I really appreciated the original story, and how well it was written, but must admit I loved the last third of the book the most.

    Liked by 1 person

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