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Dear Edward

A heartbreaking coming-of-age story of a young boy who suffers an inconceivable loss and discovers what really matters.



One Summer morning in 2013, twelve-year-old Edward Adler, his older brother, his parents, and 183 other passengers board a flight in Newark headed for Los Angeles. Among them are a young woman coming to terms with an unexpected pregnancy, an injured veteran returning from Afghanistan, a business tycoon, and a free-spirited woman running away from her controlling husband. Halfway across the country, the plane crashes. Edward is the sole survivor.


DEAR EDWARD is a heart-breaking but hopeful coming-of-age story of a young boy who has suffered an inconceivable loss. The story alternates between the events prior to and on the flight and the aftermath of the crash.

You cannot help but feel Edward’s discomfort once he is released from the hospital and goes home with his Aunt Lacey and Uncle John for the first time. Lacey and John have been trying desperately to have a baby, and the nursery has had to be dismantled to make way for Edward. The tension inside the house is palpable.

My favorite part of the book is the instantaneous and delightful relationship between Edward and Shay, the twelve-year-old girl who lives next door. I loved both Shay and her mother, Besa. Edward believes that Shay, is his oxygen. He cannot live without her. The only way he can sleep, is in a sleeping bag on the floor of her room. This strange outspoken girl who has no other friends, is the one who forges a path forward for Edward, helping him to eventually understand his loss as well as his purpose in life. It is Shay’s character that carries the book.

Author ANN NAPOLITANO has written two other novels and was inspired to write this book by the true story of Ruben Van Assouw, the soul survivor of a plane crash in 2010. She received an MFA from New York University and lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two children.

Thanks to Netgalley for an advance reading copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Publisher Dial Press

Published January 6, 2020

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