Tag Archives: Dial Press

Review: Dear Edward

Dear Edward

Dear Edward
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.

Source: Borrowed
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

Review: Miss Benson’s Beetle

Miss Benson's Beetle

Miss Benson’s Beetle
By Rachel Joyce
Dial Press Trade Paperback, 9780812996708, November 2020, 368pp.

The Short of It:

What a treat. Fans of Joyce won’t be disappointed.

The Rest of It:

Margery Benson is a schoolteacher in 1950’s London, and not a very good one at that. She can barely get by,  is harassed by her own students and isn’t comfortable in her own skin. Pushed to her limit after a particularly bad day in the classroom, she takes off on an expedition to New Caledonia in search of a rare golden beetle that her father once told her about.

But first, she needs an assistant. The last person she had in mind for the job is the one who eventually shows up to take it. Enid Pretty, with her shock of yellow hair, her cotton candy pink suit and her pom pom sandals trots into Margery’s life and from day one is a major annoyance. But Margery is pressed for time as her ship is about to leave the port and she knows she can’t do it alone, so Enid is it.

What a charming story. Although the expedition is a little far-fetched, I found myself hanging on every word as these two take off on their adventure. Two, very headstrong, quirky women traveling to the other side of the world with little to no experience under their belts. This makes for a very entertaining read but it’s not all fun and games. Very early on you are tipped off that something larger is at play. This is one of those stories that you can’t put down because it’s so fun and quirky and yes, different but you know, you just know there is going to be a serious payout. That was definitely the case here.

Fans of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine would do well by picking this book up. It has the same tone and feel and the way this friendship develops is quite sweet. Overall, it’s a feel-good book although there are two things that happen that made me a little sad. Those who have read it know what I mean. However, don’t let that stop you because I wish I still had more of the story to read. It’s that kind of story. I’ve read two other books by this author, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry and The Music Shop and I loved them as well. Joyce knows how to write a good story.

Source: Review copy provided by the publisher.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.