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Book Chat: Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano

Fiona Beech

By Fiona Beech on 17th February 2020

Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano is a brilliant novel that is released in the UK on the 20th of February. The tale of a 12-year-old boy who is the only survivor of a deadly plane crash. 

We were incredibly lucky and have a sneak preview of this amazing book, and give a preview of Dear Edward to our reviewers. Firstly, here is what our Expert Reviewer, Liz Robinson had to say:

"An exquisitely written and beautifully emotional novel that will remain in my heart and thoughts. Edward survives a plane crash in which every other person, including his parents and brother, die. As the only survivor he becomes the lodestone for the relatives of the other passengers. Ann Napolitano writes with huge compassion as she explores overwhelming grief, and the tragedy is sensitively and skilfully handled. Knowing what is coming, in no way prepares you for the journey. Two time frames travel together, the first immediately leading up to the crash, the second as Edward learns how to survive the aftermath. Scattered within are smaller, intense, briefly short stories that added to, and intertwined with the overall tale. I was allowed to find my own way, to consider and contemplate as I walked alongside Edward. I felt the most profound heartache and joy as I sank into the lives of the passengers, not only incredibly thoughtful, it is also a thought-provoking read. Dear Edward has been chosen as one of our LoveReading Star Books, it is a must-read and truly deserves to be a huge success." Liz Robinson 

This is a beautiful and life-affirming story that follows both the events leading up to the catastrophic incident and Edward's slow physical and mental recovery from such a horrendous accident.

A luminous, life-affirming novel about a 12-year-old boy who is the sole survivor of a deadly plane crash

One summer morning, a flight takes off from New York to Los Angeles. There are 216 passengers aboard: among them a young woman taking a pregnancy test in the airplane toilet; a Wall Street millionaire flirting with the air hostess; an injured soldier returning from Afghanistan; and two beleaguered parents moving across the country with their adolescent sons, bickering over who gets the window seat. When the plane suddenly crashes in a field in Colorado, the younger of these boys, 12-year-old Edward Adler, is the sole survivor.

Dear Edward depicts Edward's life in the crash's aftermath as he struggles to make sense of the meaning of his survival, the strangeness of his sudden fame, and find his place in the world without his family. In his new home with his aunt and uncle, the only solace comes from his friendship with the girl next door, Shay. Together Edward and Shay make a startling discovery: hidden in his uncle's garage are sacks of letters from the relatives of the other passengers, addressed to Edward.

As Edward comes of age against the backdrop of sudden tragedy, he must confront some of life's most profound questions: how do we make the most of the time we are given? And what does it mean not just to survive, but to truly live?

We can't sing the praises of Dear Edward loudly enough, and the same was thought by our consumer review panel:

"Wow. Just once in a while, a book comes along that resonates, affects and captures my imagination and Dear Edward was one of these." Sharon Wood

"An unputdownable novel which evoked many emotions. A work of genius!" Val Rowe

"As 12-year-old Edward is the sole survivor of a plane crash there is huge interest in him. How he recovers, and how he faces the future, makes for a gripping read. Read it in one sitting, just not on a flight." Alison Burns

"This is a lovely book that shows us how another person can have an impact on our life with a simple gesture. It deals with grief and loss in a beautiful way and I enjoyed reading it and thoroughly recommend it." Rebecca Kirkby

"Stunning." Charlotte Walker

If you would like to read full comments left by our consumer review panel then click this link!

In addition to being able to offer this book to our consumer reviewers, we enlisted the help of some of our blogger friends who also fell completely in love with this book. They have helped us to really shout about this over the past few months. 

"I finished #DearEdward by @napolitanoann @VikingBooksUK and it’s heartbreaking, hopeful and wise.

As I went to take a picture, a plane flew over and now it’s there, rightfully next to Edward’s story. I loved this book."

Clare Reynolds, Years of Reading Selfishly, @yearsofreading

See the stars in the photo? Yes? That's what you'll be seeing once the impact of #DearEdward hits you. Phenomenal!! 

Thanks to @LoveReadinguk, and @LRLizRobinson  for the Book Buzz Super Ambassador opportunity and @napolitanoann, @PenguinUKBooks  for an amazing book!

Laura Turner, Page Turner's Nook, @pageturnersnook

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!

Ivana Atansova, Diary of Difference, @DiaryDifference

Ann Napolitano's book has also been selected as a Star Book, it really is the creme de la creme! We have fallen hook, line and sinker, for Edward's story and we hope that you will love it too!

Comments (26)

Caitlin x - 2nd March 2020

This book sounds absolutely amazing and right up my street. Heard so many good things about it! Can't wait to pick up a copy.

Vera P - 27th February 2020

Sound great, I will put it on my to be read list....

Victoria N - 27th February 2020

I am so looking forward to reading this book.

Jacqui G - 27th February 2020

I'll definitely be looking out for this one.

Sylvia W - 26th February 2020

Having read the reviews this is one book I will definitely be reading this year.

Alexandra F - 24th February 2020

This comment is currently awaiting moderation.

Nikki F - 23rd February 2020

Looking forward to reading this.

Marion G - 22nd February 2020

This book sounds phenominal, can't wait to read it.

Lynne O - 22nd February 2020

This book is definitely near the top of my reading list. Unfortunately I do most of my reading on aeroplanes!

Jane W - 22nd February 2020

This sounds like the kind of moving and thought provoking book that stays with you for a long time after you've read it.

MARIA R - 21st February 2020

Sounds a great book, cannot wait to read it

Susie W - 21st February 2020

This sounds a great read whilst the nights are still long and dark

Leila B - 21st February 2020

This comment is currently awaiting moderation.

Jayne M - 21st February 2020

This looks good, haven’t read any books by Ann Napolitano

Julie M - 21st February 2020

This sounds like such a captivating story. Looking forward to reading it

Andrea H - 21st February 2020

Seen so many great reviews of this!

Clare P - 21st February 2020

After reading the brilliant reviews I would love to own this book!

Laura P - 21st February 2020

I'm weirdly fascinated by plane crashes so this sounds fantastic!

Sarah B - 21st February 2020

Love the sound of this one – definitely on my wanted list!

Nancy T - 21st February 2020

Well the reviewers certainly seem to have fallen in love with this book. Sounds like a must read.

Sheena B - 20th February 2020

This novel is definitely on my radar

fiona w - 20th February 2020

Ann Napolitano has captured exactly the mindset of a 12 year old, I am not sure how an adult would feel having all these pressures put on them, it seems an exciting book

Sophie T - 20th February 2020

I like hte sound of this and am adding it to my 'to read' list.

Annabel G - 20th February 2020

Looks like a great read

Priscilla S - 20th February 2020

I would love to read this book, it is exactly the type of story that I love

Margaret C - 20th February 2020

Sounds like an intense, thought provoking read.

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