By Ann Napolitano
Dial Press Trade Paperback, 9781984854803, Feb 2021, 384pp.
The Short of It:
Young Edward is the sole survivor of a plane crash. His story is heartbreaking but hopeful too.
The Rest of It:
I knew a little about Dear Edward before starting it, but I wasn’t sure how Edward’s story would be told without it being too sad or depressing. I learned immediately that Edward was the sole survivor of a crash that killed 191 people including his mother, father, and brother, Jordan. The story is told in alternating chapters that take you from Edward’s current situation, to flashbacks of him on the plane. As the story progresses, those chapters taking place on the plane eventually lead up to the cause of the crash and the reactions of the passengers as it was happening.
This was an interesting way to tell this story. It allowed me to feel the sense of panic that everyone on that plane felt, but it was broken up into palatable pieces that you could digest without too much trouble. The sadness that Edward experiences is gently shared through his inability to sleep in his Aunt and Uncle’s house, his quiet reflection when asked to help one of the school administrator’s with a plant project, his close friendship with the young neighbor next door. His sadness can be felt in all the day-to-day interactions, especially the memories of his brother, Jordan.
So where does the hope come from? Without giving too much away, Edward is put into a position to help others and the way he goes about it, is touching. This was a nice way to move forward and to plan for the future which would be so uncertain to a young boy of 12.
I have seen some mixed reviews for this book. Many saying that they liked it but didn’t love it. I will say this, it holds you at arm’s length. Never going too deep into one part of the story and being very careful not to take you down too dark a path. I wouldn’t say the author chose to play it safe, it’s just how she chose to tell the story. Perhaps some of it was a little too convenient if hard to believe but this is a book where the “in-between” held my attention.
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16 thoughts on “Review: Dear Edward”
Loved this book! Just wanted to hug Edward!
Edward was very realistically drawn IMO. I wanted to take him under my wing. So mature and observant.
I was one of the liked it but didn’t love it ones. Glad it worked well for you.
It had mixed feelings about what was left to him. A lot for a young boy to deal with.
As you know, this is in my stack of summer reading choices and I’m looking forward to it. I wound up with a print copy after buying the audio, so now I’m torn, wondering which I would enjoy best.
Hmmm. The writing was very good. Perhaps print.
This sounds fascinating, I have always thought surviving something awful that killed the people you love would be the worst possible thing. Glad to hear there is hope in the story too.
Me too. I’d be worried about dying in some other way, like it was fate or something.
I’m not sure I would enjoy this since you are kept at arm’s length. That’s too hard for me to read for me – at least right now.
With any other book I think it would have been a huge deal breaker for me but this was a way to deal with the grief but not make the story so sad.
I’m trying not to read any sad books right now, maybe in the future.
I think I will pass on this for now. I’m with Vicki.
I’m not sure this is the book for me, but I am intrigued at the alternating chapters leading up to the crash.
I’m glad for your review because I have been on the fence about this one. It sounds like it held your attention … but still at arm’s length. Hmm. I’ve heard it’s sad!
You know, the situation that Edward is in is sad but I didn’t find the book to be overly sad. I think it’s because the author keeps you at arm’s length. You don’t spend a lot of time dwelling on his loss.
I just finished this book yesterday. It was wonderful. I had first heard about the book on the Today Show b/c Jenna Bush Hager had it as a book club pick, earlier last year. I thought the book was very well written and the story was engaging