Monday, June 8, 2020

Book Review : Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano


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 are 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 you find yourself? How do you discover your purpose? What does it mean not just to survive, but to truly live?


Edward is a young boy who is the only person to survive a plane crash that killed 191 other people on its way to Los Angeles, including all his family. The chapters in the book alternate between the time after the crash when he is living with his aunt and uncle and healing, along with the time on the plane before it crashes. You get to know several of the passengers and their backstories, some of which come into play later in the story, as well as the family that Edward loses.
His aunt and uncle take the traumatized child home after he spent time in the hospital healing physically, it is now their job to help him heal mentality, which proves not as easy. His aunt is overprotective with him, having been unable to have children of her own and his uncle becomes obsessed with the crash. Edward clings to next-door neighbor Shay, he ends up sneaking out and staying the nights at her home instead of his. She is a major force in his healing and beyond.
The book takes us through years of Edward’s healing both mentally and physically. It is a struggle he confronts slowly over the years, often shutting completely down. The author does a great job of making the reader feel much of the emotions that Edward is feeling, and also the emotions of the people who live with him on a daily basis, who struggle in their own way dealing with him.
The world that Ann Napolitano creates is both mesmerizing and intense and you find yourself being pulled into to easily while flipping pages to find out what happens next. I especially found this true of the chapters that dealt with the actual crash.
It is a meaningful read, one that shows growth and courage, which the reader at times needs to pull themselves out of all the emotions they will feel while reading.

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