Dear Edward

Dear Edward

by Ann Napolitano

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Overview

#ReadWithJenna Book Club Pick as Featured on Today • A twelve-year-old boy struggles with the worst kind of fame—as the sole survivor of a notorious plane crash—in this “stunning novel of courage and connection” (Helen Simonson, bestselling author of Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand).
 
“A rich, big-hearted tapestry that leaves no one behind . . . Ann Napolitano brings clear-eyed compassion to every character.”—Chloe Benjamin, bestselling author of The Immortalists

What does it mean not just to survive, but to truly live? 

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 veteran returning from Afghanistan, a business tycoon, and a free-spirited woman running away from her controlling husband. Halfway across the country, the plane crashes. Edward is the sole survivor.

Edward’s story captures the attention of the nation, but he struggles to find a place in a world without his family. He continues to feel that a part of himself 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 the strength to put one foot in front of the other? How do you learn to feel safe again? How do you find meaning in your life?

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.

Advance praise for Dear Edward

Dear Edward made me think, nod in recognition, care about its characters, and cry, and you can’t ask more of a novel than that.”—Emma Donoghue, New York Times bestselling author of Room

“Weaving past and present into a profoundly beautiful, page-turning story of mystery, loss, and wonder, Dear Edward is a meditation on survival, but more important, it is about carving a life worth living. It is about love and hope and caring for others, and all the transitory moments that bind us together.”—Hannah Tinti, author of The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley and The Good Thief

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781984854797
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 01/06/2020
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 20
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

Ann Napolitano 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 and has taught fiction writing at Brooklyn College’s MFA program, New York University’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies, and Gotham Writers Workshop. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two children.

Read an Excerpt

June 12, 2013

7:45 a.m.

Newark Airport is shiny from a recent renovation. There are potted plants at each joint of the security line, to keep passengers from realizing how long they’ll have to wait. People prop themselves against walls or sit on suitcases. They all woke up before dawn; they exhale loudly, sputtering with exhaustion.

When the Adler family reaches the front of the line, they load their computers and shoes into trays. Bruce Adler removes his belt, rolls it up, and slots it neatly beside his brown loafers in a gray plastic bin. His sons are messier, throwing sneakers on top of laptops and wallets. Laces hang over the side of their shared tray, and Bruce can’t stop himself from tucking the loose strands inside.

The large rectangular sign beside them reads: All wallets, keys, phones, jewelry, electronic devices, computers, tablets, metal objects, shoes, belts, and food must go into the security bins. All drink and contraband must be thrown away.

Bruce and Jane Adler flank their twelve-­year-­old son, Eddie, as they approach the screening machine. Their fifteen-­year-­old son, Jordan, hangs back until his family has gone through.

Jordan says to the officer manning the machine: “I want to opt out.”

The officer gives him a look. “What’d you say?”

The boy shoves his hands in his pockets and says, “I want to opt out of going through the machine.”

The officer yells, apparently to the room at large: “We’ve got a male O-­P-­T!”

“Jordan,” his father says, from the far side of the tunnel. “What are you doing?”

The boy shrugs. “This is a full-­body backscatter, Dad. It’s the most dangerous and least effective screening machine on the market. I’ve read about it and I’m not going through it.”

Bruce, who is ten yards away and knows he won’t be allowed to go back through the scanner to join his son, shuts his mouth. He doesn’t want Jordan to say another word.

“Step to the side, kid,” the officer says. “You’re holding up traffic.”

After the boy has complied, the officer says, “Let me tell you, it’s a whole lot easier and more pleasant to go through this machine than to have that guy over there pat you down. Those pat­downs are thorough, if you know what I mean.”

The boy pushes hair off his forehead. He’s grown six inches in the last year and is whippet thin. Like his mother and brother, he has curly hair that grows so quickly he can’t keep it in check. His father’s hair is short and white. The white arrived when Bruce was twenty-­seven, the same year Jordan was born. Bruce likes to point at his head and say to his son, Look what you did to me. The boy is aware that his father is staring intently at him now, as if trying to deliver good sense through the air.

Jordan says, “There are four reasons I’m not going through this machine. Would you like to hear them?”

The security officer looks amused. He’s not the only one paying attention to the boy now; the passengers around him are all listening.

“Oh God,” Bruce says, under his breath.

Eddie Adler slips his hand into his mother’s, for the first time in at least a year. Watching his parents pack for this move from New York to Los Angeles—­the Grand Upheaval, his father called it—­gave him an upset stomach. He feels his insides grumble now and wonders if there’s a bathroom nearby. He says, “We should have stayed with him.”

“He’ll be okay,” Jane says, as much to herself as to her son. Her husband’s gaze is fixed on Jordan, but she can’t bear to look. Instead, she focuses on the tactile pleasure of her child’s hand in hers. She has missed this. So much could be solved, she thinks, if we simply held hands with each other more often.

The officer puffs out his chest. “Hit me, kid.”

Jordan raises his fingers, ready to count. “One, I prefer to limit my exposure to radiation. Two, I don’t believe this technology prevents terrorism. Three, I’m grossed out that the government wants to take pictures of my balls. And four”—­he takes a breath—­“I think the pose the person is forced to take inside the machine—­hands up, like they’re being mugged—­is designed to make them feel powerless and degraded.”

The TSA agent is no longer smiling. He glances around. He’s not sure if this boy is making a fool of him.

Crispin Cox is in a wheelchair parked nearby, waiting for security to swab his chair for explosives. The old man has been stewing about this. Swab his wheelchair for explosives! If he had any spare breath in his lungs at all, he would refuse. Who do these idiots think they are? Who do they think he is? Isn’t it bad enough that he has to sit in this chair and travel with a nurse? He growls, “Give the boy his goddamn pat-­down.”

The old man has been issuing demands for decades and is almost never disobeyed. The tenor of his voice breaks the agent’s indecision like a black belt’s hand through a board. He points Jordan toward another officer, who tells him to spread his legs and stick out his arms. His family watches in dismay as the man moves his hand roughly between the boy’s legs.

“How old are you?” the officer asks, when he pauses to readjust his rubber gloves.

“Fifteen.”

He makes a sour face. “Hardly ever get kids doing this.”

“Who do you get?”

“Hippies, mostly.” He thinks for a moment. “Or people who used to be hippies.”

Jordan has to force his body to be still. The agent is feeling along the waistline of his jeans, and it tickles. “Maybe I’ll be a hippie when I grow up.”

“I’m finished, fifteen,” the man says. “Get out of here.”

Jordan is smiling when he rejoins his family. He takes his sneakers from his brother. “Let’s get going,” Jordan says. “We don’t want to miss our flight.”

“We’ll talk about that later,” Bruce says.

The two boys lead the way down the hall. There are windows in this corridor, and the skyscrapers of New York City are visible in the distance—­man-­made mountains of steel and glass piercing a blue sky. Jane and Bruce can’t help but locate the spot where the Twin Towers used to be, the same way the tongue finds the hole where a tooth was pulled. Their sons, who were both toddlers when the towers fell, accept the skyline as it is.

“Eddie,” Jordan says, and the two boys exchange a look.

The brothers are able to read each other effortlessly; their parents are often mystified to find that Jordan and Eddie have conducted an entire conversation and come to a decision without words. They’ve always operated as a unit and done everything together. In the last year, though, Jordan has been pulling away. The way he says his brother’s name now means: I’m still here. I’ll always come back.

Eddie punches his brother in the arm and runs ahead.

Jane walks gingerly. The hand dropped by her younger son tingles at her side.

At the gate, there is more waiting to do. Linda Stollen, a young woman dressed all in white, hurries into a pharmacy. Her palms are sweaty, and her heart thumps like it’s hoping to find a way out. Her flight from Chicago arrived at midnight, and she’d spent the intervening hours on a bench, trying to doze upright, her purse cradled to her chest. She’d booked the cheapest flight possible—hence the detour to Newark—­and informed her father on the way to the airport that she would never ask him for money again. He had guffawed, even slapped his knee, like she’d just told the funniest joke he’d ever heard. She was serious, though. At this moment, she knows two things: One, she will never return to Indiana, and two, she will never ask her father and his third wife for anything, ever again.

This is Linda’s second pharmacy visit in twenty-­four hours. She reaches into her purse and touches the wrapper of the pregnancy test she bought in South Bend. This time, she chooses a celebrity magazine, a bag of chocolate candies, and a diet soda and carries them to the cashier.

Crispin Cox snores in his wheelchair, his body a gaunt origami of skin and bones. Occasionally, his fingers flutter, like small birds struggling to take flight. His nurse, a middle-­aged woman with bushy eyebrows, files her fingernails in a seat nearby.

Jane and Bruce sit side by side in blue airport chairs and argue, although no one around them would suspect it. Their faces are unflustered, their voices low. Their sons call this style of parental fight “DEFCON 4,” and it doesn’t worry them. Their parents are sparring, but it’s more about communication than combat. They are reaching out, not striking.

Bruce says, “That was a dangerous situation.”

Jane shakes her head slightly. “Jordan is a kid. They wouldn’t have done anything to him. He was within his rights.”

“You’re being naïve. He was mouthing off, and this country doesn’t take kindly to that, regardless of what the Constitution claims.”

“You taught him to speak up.”

Customer Reviews

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Dear Edward (Barnes & Noble Book Club Edition) 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 41 reviews.
Dana Johnson 8 days ago
The author grabs the reader's attention and doesn't let go until the very end. The storyline is one of the best I have read .
Vicki Saia 3 days ago
I loved this book. It is so well written.
Anonymous 14 hours ago
MichelleKenneth 20 hours ago
"I'm here." Those two words will never be the same for me ever again. Those two words had me balling like crazy. Those two words sum up everything that Edward is going through. It's funny, because as I reflect upon this book, those two words explain the book in its entirety. This is a book about learning how to live after you've lost everything. I'm here. I'm here. I'm here. I'm here. When you reflect upon those words in the greater scheme of the universe, what exactly do those two words mean to you? I'm here. There's that sense of relief in all of its totality that we are alive. We are here living, breathing and given an opportunity to live. This is an opportunity that can be taken away at any moment. For Edward, he has to learn how to live after everything is taken away from him. He has to learn how to live with what happened and how to be now that he has a clean slate to create a new life. What would be the most meaningful way to live? For some people that have been through something traumatic in their life, there is a before and an after. There's who you were before that moment, and who you are going to be after that moment. There's a period of grief and loss. There's a period of numbness and not knowing who you are, or what direction you should turn. You start to fall into the familiar and the routine. You can stay in that numbing moment for a long time...for years even...waiting for whatever answer you are looking for. For Edward, he had to work through all of this in order to find the path that would be best for him. That's a lot for such a young boy to go through. Most kids are just going through the craziness of adolescence, but Edward seems to have missed most of that time, because he was empty, trying to find his way through the haze. None of this is unrealistic. This is life for people who have survived something. It does not always need to be something as traumatic as a plane falling out of a sky, but it could be as simple as a surgery, an accident, or even the loss of someone you love. These are the reset moments...the moments that remind you that, "I'm here." Excellent work by Ann Napolitano. I didn't truly grasp the importance of this book until I got to those two words. I battled between giving this 4 or 5 stars. Those two words and understanding how Edward felt, learning how to live AFTER that moment, reminds me I'm here and I'm not alone in all of this. That's why she gets 5 stars. This book is for all of those people out there currently on reset trying to find their way out of the haze. Tell yourself, "I'm here." Now, learn how to find a way to live the best life there is for you and the people around you. This is your moment to live life to its fullest. This is how you learn how to shine again.
Rag_Doll 1 days ago
Twelve year old Edward Adler is the sole survivor of a plane crash. The book switches between being on the plane in the hours running up to the crash, and Edward living with his mother's sister and her husband. There is a marked difference between Eddie before the crash and Edward, as he is now known, after the crash. Everyone says he's lucky – lucky to be alive – but Edward feels far from lucky having lost his parents, brother and his whole life as he knew it. The time with the passengers on the plane has a feeling of doom – the weather is awful, the turbulence is bad – but knowing something about several of the passengers gives emotion and realism to the eventual tragedy. I recognised many of the similarities of the true plane crash of Air France flight 477 in 2009 in this story, which added to the authenticity without sensationalising the disaster. Edward, during his recovery, finds difficulty in conveying his feelings to his new family and his only friend is Shay, the girl next door who he trusts and confides in completely. A compelling story which kept me gripped when reading about being on the doomed plane, and fascinated in Edward's progress, both physical and emotional, after losing everything.
FenKoeswanto 2 days ago
One of the most highly anticipated works of fiction is finally here. DEAR EDWARD by Ann Napolitano is a story about 12-year-old Edward Adler, the sole survivor of a plane crash that took the life of his parents and his older brother, along with 183 other passengers. Edward has to cope with physical and emotional trauma as well as the guilt of being the only one to live. His childless aunt and uncle are taking good care of him but they are awkward in helping Edward deal with the aftermath of the crash. He finds comfort in his friendship with the neighbor's daughter, Shay. With Shay's help, Edward slowly learns how to adjust and live his new life, rather than merely as a survivor. This is a wonderful tale about family, love, and friendship, and strong bonds between siblings. Although Edward lost all his family members, it's his brother, Jordan, that he misses the most. He's trying to find remnants of his brother through the clothes that Jordan wore, food that Jordan ate and people Jordan knew. It is heartbreaking and made me weep. But don't worry, there is also hope, comfort and uplifting parts that would put a smile on your face too. For me personally, DEAR EDWARD is a perfect read for the beginning of the new year. It made me realize that life is short, and you never know what comes next. Don't plan too much, just do it now, don't be afraid to take a risk. I recommend this book to everyone and also recommend that you give a hug to your loved ones!!
Anonymous 3 days ago
I found this book to be written as a very unique perspective into the life of the only survivor of an airplane crash.... who happens to be a 12 year old boy. The author takes us back and forth by chapters.... the first being that of the timeline of the crash...from the moment the passengers board until the final event. And the other is how the young boy, Dear Edward, survives the crash and finds that adapting to life afterwards is very difficult. The book is written with heartfelt insight into the hurdles of this boy, which includes his physical healing, but also his mental healing. With the help of his young neighbor girl, Shay, he plods through trying to acclimate back into a society which includes the families of the crash victims attempting to contact him as the "last person who may have seen or interacted" with their loved one. Meanwhile he is living with his aunt and uncle who are trying to protect him from the outside world at the same time their marriage is struggling to survive. I enjoyed reading the book and thank NetGalley, the author and the publisher for the opportunity to read this in return for an honest review, which this has been. #NetGalley, #DearEdward
brf1948 3 days ago
I received a free electronic ARC copy of this excellent modern novel from Netgalley, Ann Napolitano, and Dial Press. Thank you all for sharing your hard work with me. I have read this novel of my own volition, and this review reflects my honest opinion of this work. I am pleased to recommend Dear Edward to friends and family. This is a book that speaks to the heart of the family in all its lights and shadows. Twelve-year-old Edward 'Eddie' Adler, his 15-year-old brother Jordan and his mom and dad, Bruce and Jane, begin a new life's journey, a family relocation from New York to Los Angeles. Dad didn't get tenure despite his years of hard work, but Mom was offered a job with prestige and much more money - over there. A move of such a scale is always frightening to everyone. The boys had never moved from the NY apartment they were born into. Never changed school systems, were comfortable in their neighborhood, had their friends, knew their classmates. On June 12, 2013, the Adler's and 183 others board a 7:45 am flight out of Newark, NJ for LA. We meet several of the memorable characters who fly with the Adler's, the boys and dad Bruce in general seating, and mom Jane in 1st class so she can finish the script re-write she is to hand-deliver to her new employers upon arrival in California. we meet the crew, most experienced with many hours in the air. At a little after 2 pm, Flight 2977 crashes into the ground near Greeley, Colorado. There are 191 casualties. And Eddie. Sole survivor, Badly damaged, but alive. and after several hospitalizations, he will live with his mother's younger sister, Lacey, and her husband John Curtis in New Jersey. He responds only to 'Edward'. He cannot talk to anyone - it's too hard to know what to say. He cannot sleep in the house with his Aunt and Uncle because his brother isn't there. Jordan had always been at Aunt Lacey's when they slept over. And school? That was going to be really hard. Physically, he has healed, Emotionally Edward has done as much healing as is possible. Two years after the crash the physical therapist and throat doctor has given him medical releases. Dr. Mike requires another year before he feels Edward has his mental health under control. And with the help of his Aunt, Uncle, and their neighbors Shae and her mother Besa, he holds it all together. A couple of years in, Edward and Shay find duffle bags filled with letters addressed to Eddie in John's office in the seldom-used garage. John and Lacey didn't feel like Edward could handle them when they began arriving immediately after the crash, but they couldn't throw them out, either. Letters from the families of the victims, from people who lost folks on other planes, others like him who survived and had to learn to live with that. At first, Edward and Shay keep the discovery to themselves, but they are opening and reading the letters, Shay is logging them into a database, Edward is sorting them mentally into piles to answer or contact. Surprisingly nearly three years in those letters are still arriving. John picks them up at the post office box every Friday. Once they talk with John and Lacey about the letters, it becomes a big part of every day for them all, and Edward is finally able to find some closure. And upon highschool graduation, Shay and Edward take a road trip to Greeley, Colorado, to see the memorial in place for the victims, in hopes of finding a way to accept the losses and learn to move on.
Bookwormish-Me 3 days ago
Edward is a twelve year old boy traveling to California with his mother Jane, father Bruce and fifteen year old brother Jordan. The family is moving to accommodate Jane’s new job as a screenwriter. The family has always lived in New York City. We start the story with everyone trudging through the Newark airport, security, and Jordan’s newfound independence. They then board the plane, Jane in first class and the rest of the family in the back. There are brief descriptions of some of the other passengers and crew that we will meet throughout the story. Each has their own reasons for traveling to Los Angeles; some to start new lives, some for work, some for vacation. At the end of the first chapter, we move to evening of the same day when the NTSB is at the crash site of Trinity Airlines flight 2977 trying to make sense of the disaster. One person has survived this horrible crash, and that is twelve year old Edward. Now known as the “miracle boy”, we follow Edward’s story as he tries to piece back together his life. In addition and alternating with Edward’s story, we follow the time that the plane was in the air learning more about those other passengers and crew, and how that Airbus A321 ended up in pieces on the ground of a remote part of Colorado. Napolitano carefully unravels this story in bits to allow us to try to absorb what tragedy occurred on that June day in 2013. She feeds us bits of the time on the plane over the course of the next five years of Edward’s life. It is not an easy road for Edward, nor the passengers as the plane heads to its demise. Edward’s story is fascinating though, and teaches us that in every tragedy there is a chance for hope and rebirth. The book tends to be a slower read as the story unfolds. There is so much to absorb regarding Edward’s feelings. It’s not an easy read, and there are times you wonder how this boy even survives. It is beautifully written, giving us characters surrounding Edward who have their own feelings to resolve. This book is a keeper. One that made me stop and think and be thankful for what I have. 4.5 stars on Goodreads
DragonNimbus 4 days ago
Dear Edward is a different sort of a book. Edward is the lone survivor of a horrible plane crash that killed his parents, his beloved older brother and 116 other passengers and staff. Edward is only 12 when life as he knew it comes to a drastic end. Not only does he have to heal from severe injuries but he some how has to wrap his head around the fact that he's lost his parents and brother. Fortunately his aunt (mother's sister) and her husband take him in, but he struggle to maintain some semblance of normalcy. Edward can only sleep on the floor of his nextdoor neighbor's bedroom, but that begins a bond with Shay, an unusual little twelve-year-old girl. At first Shay is convinced that Edward is magic, or will manifest superpowers. When that doesn't happen Edward looks farther to find a purpose in his survival. Napolitano does a fantastic job with a difficult subject. The chapters alternate between Edward's point of view and the passengers'point of view, including the co-pilot's fatal mistakes. She handles the characters with sensitivity without being sappy or maudlin, or too grisly - especially Edward and his aunt and uncle who are dealing with their own grief and difficulties. The story was sad, but not depressing, and watching Edward work his way back into a well-lived life was very satisfying. There was a little adult content, but Dear Edward would be a great read for young adults as well as adults of any age. This is a unique and very fulfilling book -enjoy!!!
Caroldaz 4 days ago
This was a unique and captivating story. Edward and his brother and parents were on a plane as they were moving from New York to Los Angeles. The plane crashes, 191 passengers were killed and Edward is the sole survivor. He is taken in by his Aunt and Uncle who have no other children. Edward is physically broken, emotionally as well. He becomes friends with Shay who lives next door and she becomes his rock. Edward has to learn to live again, and want to live. It is a beautiful story. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
CRSK 5 days ago
”We contain the other, hopelessly and forever.” -- James Baldwin An examination of the sorrow that follows losing loved ones, as well as the suffering that follows any harrowing ordeal, this centers primarily on twelve-year-old Edward Adler who is the sole survivor of a plane crash. During the early part of the flight we learn bits and pieces about some of the 183 passengers. One young woman has just found out she is pregnant, while another woman is leaving behind a husband, an elderly business mogul has an assistant flying with him, a woman, Edward’s mother, working on a script for a movie in first class while her two sons and husband sit in coach, another woman who believes that she has been reincarnated many times. Many other characters stories are shared in a more limited sense, but this is really Edward’s story. After the plane crash, and after a somewhat lengthy stay in the hospital Edward goes to live with his mother’s sister and her husband in West Milford, New Jersey, overlooking Greenwood Lake. It’s not that far from where his family had lived in NYC, but it has the benefit of being remote and relatively quiet, although it had lost some of the charm it once held as a summer resort town over the years. When the girl next door befriends Edward, it is like a lifeline for him, and he grabs hold to it, but it is still a while before Edward begins to even begin to return to his pre-sole survivor status. Joy is fleeting for some time, but there are moments where his trust and comfort in the company of Shay show his walls coming down, if not with everyone then with her. There are some very lovely, and some very emotional elements of this story, but the frequently changing perspectives took a bit of a toll on me for the story overall. Still, I found this to be a very compelling story. My eyes filled with tears at moments, and other moments had me smiling as I saw Edward finding his way toward a life with love, and the peace that follows discovering the path to the life he was meant to live. Many thanks for the ARC provided by Random House Publishing Group – Random House / The Dial Press
SL22268 5 days ago
Lovely read! Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for an e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. Edward Adler has survived the ultimate tragedy: a plane crash...where he is the only survivor. In a quest to move cross county, in which only Edward makes it. this novel switches back and forth between the day/hours leading up to the plane crash, until the present. There are other characters introduced during the hours leading up and in present time, you hear from the family members who lost them, through letters. Edward goes to live with his aunt - who desperately wants a baby, and his uncle - who becomes obsessed in research the aftermath of the crash and who starts receiving letters to Edward, but does not let him know about them. It's in these letters that Edward connects with them and in the process, becomes the beneficiary to one of the victim's estate. What Edward does with these funds is a last act of love. This book's subject matter wasn't easy to read, but I really enjoyed this book. Highly recommend!
BrunettesLikeBooksToo 5 days ago
“So much could be solved, she thinks, if we simply held hands with each other more often.” 12 year old Eddie Adler boards flight 2977 from Newark to Los Angeles with his parents, and his older brother Jordan. 191 passengers will perish and Eddie, will be the sole survivor of the crash. The whole country is captivated with Eddie and his story. They think he is LUCKY. They don’t understand the pain of being the one “left behind”. The story is told from the alternating timelines of “ the flight” and the years that follow.. The “flight chapters” acquaint you with some of the other passengers. Not all of them were likable, and I felt like I should’ve FELT more for these people who lost their lives... Eddie’s chapters were much more poignant, as he struggles to make sense of his new life. These chapters brought me both tears, and smiles.. I was much more captivated by these chapters and with the people who rally around him to try and bring him comfort and hope. His friendship with Shay is truly one of the most moving friendships you will ever have the pleasure of reading about. The author talks about how she spoke with those who administer insurance claims, with those in the military, and with pilots for AUTHENTICITY. She should’ve also spoke with flight attendants, as my one complaint as a professional flight attendant, was the unprofessional, cliche way that Veronica was portrayed. And, the incorrect portrayal of what might be done with an elderly passenger who suffers what her passenger suffers while inflight-as a 34 year flight attendant I can assure you that we would NEVER handle that situation that way- But despite that-it's wonderful story which I would highly recommend!
singingshauna 5 days ago
The bond between siblings. I see the bond between my two grown sons. I deeply know the bond I share with my sister. This is a very thoughtful and moving story. As I read it, there were parts of it that sang out to me, that I know to be true. I see this as being a Book Club book. Thanks to NetGalley and publisher for the ARC.
mweinreich 5 days ago
“And how can you mend a broken heart? How can you stop the rain from falling down? How can you stop the sun from shining? What makes the world go round? How can you mend this broken man? How can a loser ever win? Please help me mend my broken heart and let me live again” (Bee Gees) Tragedy and death has confronted all of us. There has been loss in our lives be it a parent, grandparent, spouse, child, family, or friends. It touches everyone, but perhaps never as much as it touches a person who has been left alive after all others have perished. Why me? Why am I still here? “I can still feel the breeze that rustles through the trees And misty memories of days gone by We could never see tomorrow, no one said a word about the sorrow” (Bee Gees) Young Edward, his family and one hundred eighty three others, board a plane thinking to arrive at their destination hours later. No one thought of not getting to their destination, never seeing those they cared for again, of having their life end in tragedy and a fiery crash. However, Edward knows. He knows that he is the only survivor, the only one left of these many souls, the only one left to carry within him the nightmare of what he went through and how his life was irreversibly changed. After recovering from his wounds, Edward goes to live with his aunt and uncle, a kindly couple who themselves are suffering the loss of a sister and the loss of the dream of having their own child. Edward meets and forms a strong attachment to the girl across the street, Shay, who offers him hard won comfort and seems to be exactly the person he needs. There are also other wonderful characters. The principal of Edward’s school, whose love for plants nurtures Edward as well, allowing Edward to grow while giving him solace and a sense of peace in the ferns he keeps. There is Dr Mike, who so understands how to draw Edward out, how to allay his guilt, how to make him know that he has the ability to heal and only needs to discover the way to find that road to inner peace. And then there are the letters, written to Edward from the families of survivors, the people who know loss, the people who want him to go forward almost as if Edward is living their loved one’s lives for them. Sadness and melancholy pervade this story and certainly we understand why. Though sadness often does lead to times of happiness, times when you begin to understand yourself, and times that make for a way ahead that is filled with promise. This is what Edward needs to know and strives to learn. This wonderful story, loosely based on a real event, will have you realizing what many of us know, that the joy and love of family can sustain you through the worst that life can dole out. Edward, only thirteen at the time, will progress down a road filled with thorns and brambles to come to a road that, while not always filled with sunshine, will always offer days that are. “Please help me mend my broken heart and let me live again” (Bee Gees) I most heartily recommend this story as Ms Napolitano has given us a detailed look at loss, survivor guilt, and grief. The depth of this story is truly amazing. We all have been there. We all know what it’s like to lose someone, we all know a portion of what Edward feels. We all are on his side wishing life’s very best for a young man who has experienced ultimate loss. Thank you to Ann Napolitano, Random House and NetGalley for a copy of this beautiful story.
Piney10 5 days ago
3.5. I really liked A Good Hard Look by Ann Napolitano so I was looking forward to read her new book, Dear Edward. The general premise of the book is very creative—the lone survivor of a commercial plane crash, Edward Adler (“Eddie”), a twelve year old who lost his family in the crash. The plot not only covers the impact on Edward post tragedy but also has a parallel story line throughout the course of the novel that covers certain of the other passengers on the flight from the airport where the plane took off to moments before the crash. Both of these plot lines intersect with Edward, which really makes it a coming of age book. It is likely many people might like this book, however, I was disappointed. I found it very contrived. In my own view, I found the plot line and many characters largely unrealistic: his aunt and uncle, his neighbor and friend Shay and her mother, and many others depicted in the book. The characters were not well defined but very ambiguous which made it harder for me to connect.
AnneGiglio 5 days ago
So I have a very real fear of flying and I can tell you this book did not help that at all! However I do feel the point of this book is how to survive when you feel as if you’ve lost everything. Everything including desire, will, happiness, love and sadness. It’s about how to escape the state of emptiness. Dear Edward was a fabulous read. I don’t really want to give too much of the actual book away. I myself did not read the synopsis or any reviews prior to reading the book. And I do believe that this helped me. The only thing that I continuously saw in regards to this book was “I should not be reading this on a plane”. So I knew obviously that a plane must have crashed. This was a beautifully written book. We are company Edward threw his healing journey. This is definitely one book that you should read in 2020!
PanglossMystic 7 days ago
A marvelous book about a young boy who is the sole survivor of a plane crash. The writing is wonderful - one of the best books I've read in a long time. Highly recommended for fiction lovers.
sspea 7 days ago
192 people get on a plane heading to Los Angeles from New York. 192 people, from different walks of life, different stages of life, among those people is 12 year old Eddie Adler. 191 people loose their life. Eddie Adler the boy left behind, the sole survivor. This book, is the reason I love books. Some books are sad for the sake of being sad. Sad without adding anything to the story, I often assume it was a misguided "stroke of genius" on the authors part. But this book, every detail, every tragic detail in this book added a depth to the story, added depth the characters and was perfectly executed. I generally am not drawn to sad books, as they can so easily come out wrong, but Ann Napolitano wrote a story that I can only describe as poetry.
Kerrinhp 7 days ago
Dear Me! What was I thinking when I decided to read a book about a young boy who was the sole survivor on a plane crash? It’s not a pleasant topic or a subject that I ordinarily read… but something just drew me to it. Whatever it was, I am very glad I read the book, Dear Edward, by Ann Napolitano. It’s good to be pushed outside one’s comfort zone every now and then. Eddie is a 12-year-old boy who boards a flight from Newark to Los Angeles with his mother, father, and 15-year-old brother, Jordan. They are moving to LA where his mother has a new writing job. Eddie and Jordan have always been very close, and their math genius father has homeschooled them. After the plane crashes, Eddie is the sole survivor, and the other 191 people aboard have died. He goes to live with his mother’s sister, Lacey, and her husband John. They tell the press and medical staff to call him Edward instead of Eddie. The book treats Edward’s depression, confusion, and often fugue state of mind with compassion and reality. John and Lacey were already having marital difficulties due to infertility when Edward arrives at their home. They are totally ill-equipped to deal with their own lives, let alone him. But they try and try to love him and protect him from the media circus that surrounds him, as well as all the other strangers who feel they have the right to tell him how to live. Throughout the story, Edward experiences considerable mournfulness over the loss of his brother. Edward is often reminded that he is “special” for having survived. However, he often lacks the social skills to deal with all the situations he faces. Edward befriends the next-door neighbor, Shay, and she helps him deal with issues of school and grief. Their bond is very endearing. The book divides into chapters dealing with Edward and his recovery, and other chapters regarding the flight before it crashes. The flight chapters spend a little too much time on the backstories of several other people on the plane. There was a lot of storyline about the first-class flight attendant, but I don’t remember there being any meaningful post-crash connection between any of her family members and Edward. Towards the end of the book, we learn of letters that were written to “Dear Edward” after the crash. While sometimes disturbing, these letters help Edward in unexpected ways. Slowly he is able to learn to live with the memories of his past and possibilities of his future. Along the way, he supported by his aunt and uncle, Shay and her mom, his therapist, a fantastic school principal, and a PE Coach. I enjoyed this character-driven book much more than I expected.
Leslie Adams 7 days ago
It's been a very long time since I read a story I couldn't put down. The author hits home on everything we fear and want in life.
Anonymous 8 days ago
you can read the book summary for yourself. This may not be an easy book to read for some. However I thought it was well done. Well written and a satisfying ending. Some criticisms have been that readers have not been able to connect to the characters -- I did not find that to be true. I think the depiction of Edward , his feelings and what he went through after the crash were very realistic. Well worth your time to read.
Denice_L 8 days ago
The book jacket synopsis gives us a wonderful look into this book. When a young boy is the sole survivor of a plane crash that kills 180+ people including the rest of his family, it is understandable that he feels lost and alone. The story builds a picture of the people on the plane then shows the after effects to an uncanny degree. The challenges facing this young man are too numerous to list but he finds a way to move forward after his first life ends with the crash. Sniffles and cheers for Ann Napolitano's story of a young life changing direction in the blink of an eye. This book could easily be a movie of the week.
Luadri 9 days ago
Dear Edward was not an easy story to read. We have a twelve year old boy who was the sole survivor of a plane crash. The story takes us through two timelines. One is where we see Edward deal with the aftermath of this tragic event where he lost his family and the other is where we get a glimpse of some of those 191 passengers who lost their lives. It is Edward's timeline that was the most heartbreaking to read. It was difficult to read how he was copping with his loss and how at times he wasn't too open about what he was feeling. Luckily he is surrounded by family and a friend who never leave him alone, but it was all those "Dear Edward" letters that he received that helped him get better. Thank you to the publisher for the ARC provided through NetGalley for an honest review.