Release Date: 4th February 2021
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review
Rating: 3.75/5 stars
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 a 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 find yourself? How do you discover your purpose? What does it mean not just to survive, but to truly live?
Dear Edward is the heartbreaking and emotional story of Edward Adler, a twelve year old boy who is flying from New York to Los Angeles along with 183 other passengers. When the plane crashes, tragically Edward is the only one who survives. Told in two timelines of the moments leading up to the crash and Edward afterwards as he attempts to understand his purpose in life and how he will cope when he’s lost everything.
Dear Edward isn’t the kind of book I normally pick up but it sounded like a really compelling story and I was so intrigued. This book is a beautiful story, following Edward as he moves to live with his aunt and uncle, attempts to live a normal life as well as honour all those that died in the crash. The story is quite a slow paced one, it’s very much a character study of Edward and the people on the plane. I really liked Napolitano’s writing style and the characters were very well developed. Even though we only get snapshots of the people on the plane, they felt very real and relatable.
I was really surprised that some of the moments before the plane crash are taken from black box recordings of actual plane crashes and that Edward is inspired by a young boy who was the only survivor in a plane crash. It really added another layer to the story and left me thinking about this story longer after I’d finished turning the pages.
I really enjoyed seeing Edward grow up and I loved his relationship with his neighbour Shay. It was fascinating to see how the crash affected so many people even if they were direct family members of the victims. This is a thought-provoking read and despite it being at times quite a difficult read, it’s a story well worth reading.