Dear Edward

Ann Napolitano. Dial, $27 (352p) ISBN 978-1-984854-78-0
Napolitano (A Good Hard Look) builds a gentle but persistent tension as she navigates the minds of passengers on a plane that is about to crash, and the thoughts of the boy who is the only survivor. Wonderfully detailed characters include Edward Adler, 12 years old at the time of the crash, who lives through the catastrophe, and Shay, who’s the same age and lives next to the aunt and uncle who take over for Edward’s dead parents. The story moves back and forth before and after the crash, when Edward struggles to physically and emotionally recover. Stories of his fellow passengers are woven throughout: Florida is a Filipina who remembers her past lives; Benjamin is a soldier who has just discovered he’s gay; and Veronica is an alluring flight attendant who tallies admiring stares. During Edward’s recovery between 2013 and 2019, he remembers some of these people, but in 2016, after finding hundreds of letters addressed to him from the families of the victims, Edward begins to discover his purpose. The potent prose brings readers close to the complex emotional and psychological fallout after tragedy. Edward’s intolerable losses and his eventual brave recovery is at first melancholy, but by the end, readers will feel a comforting sense of solace. Napolitano’s depiction of the nuances of post-trauma experiences is fearless, compassionate, and insightful. Agent: Julie Barer, the Book Group. (Jan.)
Reviewed on : 09/27/2019
Release date: 01/14/2020
Genre: Fiction
Compact Disc - 978-0-593-28852-8
Library Binding - 510 pages - 978-1-4328-7340-0
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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