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 find yourself? How do you discover your purpose? What does it mean not just to survive, but to truly live?
I enjoyed this book far more than I expected. Dear Edward was sobering — it’s about the sole survivor of a plane crash after all — but the premise was fresh, the writing was first-rate, and the huge ensemble cast of characters were so well developed I felt like I knew them. This was not an easy book to write, and not always easy to read. The back and forth between past and present was sometimes onerous and poor Eddie’s situation made my heart heavy, but Ann Napolitano is clearly very talented. 4 Stars.
“Humans need community, for our emotional health. We need connection, a sense of belonging. We are not built to thrive in isolation.” ~ from Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano