ARC Review: Dear Edward (Ann Napolitano)

45294613Genre: Fiction
The Dial Press
Publication Date: January 6th 2020
Format: ARC Paperback
Source: Times Reads
Page Count: 336

Blurb from Goodreads:

Inspired by a true story of one child’s incredible survival–riveting, uplifting, unforgettable.

After losing everything, a young boy discovers there are still reasons for hope in this luminous, life-affirming novel, perfect for fans of Celeste Ng and Ann Patchett.

In the face of tragedy, what does it take to find joy?

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 at once a transcendent coming-of-age story, a multidimensional portrait of an unforgettable cast of characters, and a breathtaking illustration of all the ways a broken heart learns to love again.




I am definitely drawn into this novel’s “sole survivor of a plane crash” plot line and I am even more interested to read it when it says the book is for fans of Celeste Ng.

Dear Edward starts with Edward and his family board a flight in Newark headed to Los Angeles. After that, the book continues with alternate chapters in the present and past during the duration of the flight. In the present chapters, we see how Edward and his close relatives handle the grief and situation while in the past chapters, stories are told from the perspective of the other 183 passengers in the flight.

It is somehow tough to both read and review this book, mainly because it’s a story where so much and so little happens at the same time. The book has a slow pace but the story is enough to make me interested to turn the pages.

What I love about the book is that Dear Edward is a realistically character-driven and emotion-led story. I truly appreciate the time that the author has taken to invest in Edward’s coming-of-age story from someone who has lost everything to a person who can let go of the past and move on. It’s not a walk in the park story as the book truly delves into the vastness of sadness and grief of losing your loved ones and how to continue living. Grief can hit the core of not only to the person who is deeply affected, but to the families as well. We see how it is not easy for Edward’s aunt and uncle to accept the fact that he is an orphan and won’t be able to see his parents again. However, they still put a brave face and try to be the best person that they could be for Edward.

As rare as Edward’s situation is, we can always find something to relate here. At some point of our lives, we all face grief and loss that changes on how we view life. When we face those issues, we always want to find answers that can solve the problems. However in reality, there are no easy answers on how we can decode them. That’s what Dear Edward tells. Edward also undergoes the journey of growth and recovery, something that is not easy as it sounds. He finds comfort in being with people who truly care for him like Shay and Principal Arundhi. It shows that people around him are also responsible for his recovery.

Overall, a wonderful story on the exploration and journey of grief and recovery.

When there’s life, there’s hope.

Special thanks to Times Reads for sending me an ARC of Dear Edward.



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