NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • #ReadWithJenna Book Club Pick as Featured on Today • A “dazzling” novel that “will break your heart and put it back together again” (J. Courtney Sullivan, bestselling author of Saints for All Occasions) about a young boy who must learn to go on after surviving tragedy
“A reading experience that leaves you profoundly altered for the better . . . Don’t miss this one.”—Jodi Picoult, bestselling author of Small Great Things and A Spark of Light
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.
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
Dear Edward is a 2020 novel by American writer Ann Napolitano. It tells the story of a 12-year-old boy who is the sole survivor of a plane crash that kills all of the other 191 passengers, including the protagonist's family. Dear Edward was published on January 6, 2020, by The Dial Press. It is Napolitano's third novel.The novel was partially inspired by the crash of Afriqiyah Airways Flight 771 on May 12, 2010, which resulted in the deaths of all 105 passengers and crew except for a 9-year-old boy. Napolitano said of the real-life crash: "This story just flayed me. I could not imagine how the boy would be OK, and I could feel from the stickiness of my obsession that I was going to have to write a book that created a set of circumstances to make him OK."Angie Kim of The New York Times called it a "suspenseful page-turner" and a "haunting novel that's a masterful study in suspense, grief and survival". Elisabeth Egan, also of The New York Times, called it "a surprisingly uplifting story, full of hope and dry humor, with an underlying, noncloying message about the decency of strangers". NPR book reviewer Heller McAlpin called it "a sure-footed tearjerker" and "in part a tale of survivor guilt, which is fueled by the weight of oppressive, often bizarre expectations on the miracle boy". Jenna Bush Hager, the co-host of Today with Hoda & Jenna and daughter of former U.S. President George W. Bush, selected Dear Edward as the January 2020 selection of her Read With Jenna book club. Stephanie Larratt of Today wrote: "While the story has tragedy at its core, it is a book about shared humanity, new beginnings and finding hope through even the most trying experience."The book made The New York Times Best Sellers list on January 26, 2020, debuting at #2 in the "Hardcover Fiction" category and #3 in the "Combined Print & E-Book Fiction" category...
Beautifully written. Loved every page. 55
'Dear Edward' made me consider...How would I feel? What would I do?, more than any book I have ever read. The author's thoughtful and insightful writing made me know I would be sad to be leaving Edward behind. 55
As a flight attendant I felt the book was well written in detail and gave me a different perspective on my passengers. I loved this book and enjoyed every page. 55
I got to know and care about the characters in the story early on. The book moves along at a nice pace. It is a wonderful story. Well written. 55
This book will remain in my top five of greatest books of all time. Characters that you would recognize on the street if you ran into them. Passages where I would have to put the book down to saviour and allow to imprint on myself. A beautiful book all the way around and one that because it’s so good I can’t even pick up another book for a little while because I know it will pale in comparison. 55
The protagonist becomes a part of your soul. His grief, confusion and pain is described so articulately that you can feel it your bones. His life line and clearly his soul mate, Shay seems to be the one blessing in his life after the terrible tragedy he walked out of. But the older they get and the more they share it is obvious to any that Shay needed saving herself so it was fate that these two lost but exceptionally compassionate and brilliant kids came together and made a substantial difference in each other’s lives and in those who had also needed a saving grace. 55
From beginning to end. I couldn’t put it down. Very well written. 55
Interesting premise; flawed execution. 35
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 45
Heartbreaking and heartwarming- one of the best books I’ve read in awhile. 55