There was no reason for what happened to you, Eddie. You could have died; you just didn’t. It was dumb luck. Nobody chose you for anything. Which means, truly, that you can do anything.Ann Napolitano, Dear Edward
I’ve always been one to stay away from tearjerkers, but for some reason this book called to me. Dear Edward is a newly released book by Ann Napolitano.
What’s it about?
*Description brought to you by goodreads:
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 you 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 cried a lot during this book. I’m also the kind of person who cries at a lot of things. I cried at the end of Mulan, so if you aren’t on my level you might not cry as much as me. Since I cry a lot I tend to try and stay away from books like Dear Edward because those emotions can be so overwhelming. For some odd reason Dear Edward called to me. I truly wondered how Edward could possibly move forward after being the sole survivor of a plane crash. I couldn’t imagine losing my family all at once, so the thought of this little boy struggling to find the meaning of life after losing everything had me picking the book up. I’m glad I picked it up because it’s probably one of the best books I have read.
Chapters alternate between Edward’s life post crash, and the passengers on the plane before the crash. Napolitano really makes you care and connect with those passengers, which makes the impending crash that much harder to read. There’s also an added mystery to the book, making you wonder how the plane crashes in the first place. Was there some kind of argument on board? Was it terrorism? Just a dumb accident? That’s not revealed until the very end.
As Edward gets older we see him trying to not just stay connected with his lost family, but with all of the passengers on the flight. The alternating chapters make the plane crash a constant trauma and trial in Edward’s life, which it is. Edward’s transforming into a different person as each year passes, but that boy on the plane, Eddie, is still present. He’s still on that plane headed to Los Angeles with his family and the rest of the passengers.
In a somewhat surprising and beautiful way Edward finds a way to connect to all of the lost passengers on the flight. I’m not going to give that away because I want you to the read the book for yourself.
Will this book put you to tears? Yes. But will it also bring you hope and joy? HECK YES.
Inspired By A True Story
When I first read the book, I thought, thank goodness this is fiction, even though clearly in the description of the book it says “Inspired by a true story”. I didn’t include that in my description on here, but on my book jacket it clearly says this. My brain must of completely ignored that since I was so shocked when I realized that Dear Edward was indeed inspired by a true story. It makes this story an even more powerful read.
Apparently in 2010 a commercial airliner flying from South Africa to London crashed in Libya. There were around 170 passengers on that flight and the sole survivor was a 9-year-old boy. Everyone else died, including his parents and brother. Napolitano became obsessed with the story, especially with the media’s fascination on the little boy. For 8 years Napolitano created her own fictional story based on this crash.
Just Read It
Just. Read. It. PLEASE read this book. It will have you feeling all the feels, but it is so worth it! Get your copy on Amazon today!!!