Fiction Book Reviews

Literary Fiction | Dear Edward | Ann Napolitano

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We’re delighted to be on tour sharing Laura’s thoughts for Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano.

A luminous, life-affirming novel about a 12-year-old boy who is the sole survivor of a deadly plane crash

One summer morning, a flight takes off from New York to Los Angeles. There are 192 passengers aboard: among them a young woman taking a pregnancy test in the airplane toilet; a Wall Street millionaire flirting with the air hostess; an injured soldier returning from Afghanistan; and two beleaguered parents moving across the country with their adolescent sons, bickering over who gets the window seat. When the plane suddenly crashes in a field in Colorado, the younger of these boys, 12-year-old Edward Adler, is the sole survivor.
Dear Edward depicts Edward’s life in the crash’s aftermath as he struggles to make sense of the meaning of his survival, the strangeness of his sudden fame, and find his place in the world without his family. In his new home with his aunt and uncle, the only solace comes from his friendship with the girl next door, Shay. Together Edward and Shay make a startling discovery: hidden in his uncle’s garage are sacks of letters from the relatives of the other passengers, addressed to Edward.

As Edward comes of age against the backdrop of sudden tragedy, he must confront some of life’s most profound questions: how do we make the most of the time we are given? And what does it mean not just to survive, but to truly live?

Book cover for Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano

Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano is published by Penguin and available to purchase in digital, hardcover and audiobook formats.


Dear Edward is a beautiful story based on true events of a horrific accident.

Edward Adler a twelve-year-old boy and sole survivor of a plane crash and this story follows his life after. I loved that this story includes other passengers stories during their fateful flight.

Edward after his recovery moves into his aunt and uncles house but discovers that they also have their own troubles. He befriends Shay a girl next door and she supports him, as she was enticed at first by his unwanted fame.

Edward is fortunate that his uncle and aunt, principal, friend and psychologist provide him enough care and support in the years after the crash. He will always be devastated by the loss of his beloved family, especially his older brother but finds his own role to look after others.

This story follows the six years after the crash and the author has written Edward’s character well in that you notice his growing maturity.

It was heartbreaking to read the chapters with the other passengers thoughts, beliefs and hopes for a future that will never happen. These chapters were necessary to feel the overwhelming loss of 191 lives. I felt more for these characters reading their backgrounds.

An emotional and compelling story, a wonderful read.

Jera's Jamboree

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Ann Napolitano is the author of the novels A Good Hard Look and Within Arm’s Reach. She is also the Assistant Editor of One Story literary magazine. She received an MFA from New York University; she has taught fiction writing for Brooklyn College’s MFA program, New York University’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies and for Gotham Writers’ Workshop. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two children.

Website: https://annnapolitano.com/ Twitter: @napolitanoann

Jera's Jamboree has been around for 9+ years. I'm qualified as a Sleep Consultant, Dyslexia Therapist, Reiki Master, Mental Health First Aider and Mindfulness Practitioner. My love of reading, crocheting, being out in nature and positive psychology are all things that help me unwind.

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