Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano is one of the few books that instantly captures your heart, then shatters it into hundred pieces and teaches you many life lessons at the same time.
A reporter holds up a copy of The New York Times to a camera, to show a huge block headline, the kind normally reserved for presidential elections and moonwalks. It reads:
191 DIE IN PLANE CRASH; 1 SURVIVOR
The relatives have only one question when the press briefing comes to close; they all lean toward it like a window in a dark room:
“How is the boy?”
Dear Edward features a boy called Edward, who is flying with his family to move across states. This is their chance of a new life, a brand new start. When the plane crashes, he is the only survivor.
The author tells the story through two different timelines; during the flight and after the plane crash. We follow Edward’s life and how he is coping with the loss of everything he knew. We also see how he is struggling to cope with the unwanted celebrity title he has now.
I have always been intrigued by planes and plane crashes. I used to watch every single episode of the documentary on Discovery Channel back in the days. And today, I like to listen to the Plane Crash Podcast by Michael Bauer. I have had some bad experiences while flying, and have always wanted to understand what exactly happens when a plane crashes, and what aviation does to prevent this from happening in the future. This book contains amazing details about the crash, and my hidden mystery person inside me was deeply satisfied by all those pilot dialogues and explanations.
Edward’s grief and growing up journey is so painful. He survived, but everyone he loved and cared about in his life died. He is lucky to have survived, but why does he then feel guilty? Why did he swap places with his brother on the flight? If they didn’t – his brother would still be alive now. The brother relationship was written so perfectly. The love and the bond they shared for each other was so strong.
Despite the fact that Edward is the main character in this story, we also get to meet so many other characters, the people who lost their lives in the crash. Through flashbacks and “during flight” scenes, as well as encounters from their families, we get to see all the wishes that will never come through, all the hopes and dreams buried under the plane ash.
And that is why Edward’s journey is so difficult. He doesn’t have to only carry to guilt for his own family, but all those other lives as well. Edward receives letters from the families asking him to do all these things that these people would do. He is asked to become a musician, a doctor, a teacher, to travel around the world, learn knitting, etc, and Edward feels obligated to do all of these things, to give peace to the families.
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✈️ QOTD: Are you scared of flying? 💭 I am always uneasy when I fly, having had some bad landings in my life. Recently, I started listening to the @planecrashpodcast and it is amazing to learn more about the plane crashes that occur and how aviation learns from it. Dear Edward by @annnapolitano is one of few books that instantly captures your heart, then shatters it into hundred pieces and teaches you many life lessons at the same time. A boy called Edward is flying with his family to start a brand new life in another state. This is their brand new start. But the plane crashes, and Edward is the only survivor… I gave this book 5-stars. It is now one of my favourites. Go to my blog to read the full review! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Thank you to @penguinrandomhouse and @lovereadinguk , for providing me with an ARC copy in exchange for my honest review. 💖
I knew this book would stay with me forever from the moment I started reading the first few pages. It is so harshly real and painful, but what it does it remind us how every day is special and we should be thankful for it! We may not get a tomorrow, but that’s why we have today. Let’s make the best of it!
Thank you to the team at Penguin Random House for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. Also thank you to the team at LoveReading UK, for allowing me to be their Super Ambassador of this book for the month of November.