Author : Ann Napolitano
As I was walking down the aisles at Barnes and Nobles I stumbled upon Dear Edward, with its shiny gold BOOK CLUB sticker on it I decided it would be my next read. However what I didn’t know was the massive impact it would have on me. Dear Edward is a novel that revolves around twelve-year-old Edward Adler. Edward and is family are making a huge move to Los Angeles which is how they end up on an airplane with 183 other passengers. About half way to the destination the plane crashes leaving only one survivor Edward Adler somehow he is the only one alive. In this novel the reader really gets insight on what Edward feels throughout his journey of recovery not just physically but also mentally. When Edward is left without his sibling or parents custody is given to his aunt Lacey and uncle John. Edward awakens in the hospital trying to piece together the last moments of his life on the airplane. Shockingly Edward survived the plane crash with minimal injuries some bruised ribs and the most damaging area is his leg which he recovers from shortly and is released from the hospital. When Edward gets to Lacey and Johns home he is suddenly having to face the reality of his situation. Edward finds himself in a new room full of items that don’t belong to him and is wishing he could just be back in the hospital. But when Besa and her daughter Shay come knocking at the door Edward will soon find the comfort that he needs. Shay and Edward meet and Shay shares a story about Edwards brother Jordan and in that moment Edward is taken back to the crash. Edward constantly feels like it should have been his brother who survived not him and the reader really gets insight on were Edwards mind seems to wonder off to and the battle he has within. Edward finds himself at Besa’s front steps asking to speak to shay and once he makes his way to her room he is suddenly able to just be a normal kid. Not the “miracle boy” or the “lucky one” he gets to just be a normal boy. Edward finds comfort in speaking to Shay and soon finds himself sleeping in her room every night and creating an unspoken bond with her. Edward and Shay become each others savior throughout the book and soon Shay finds herself helping Edward face his new life. Edward soon realizes that his aunt and uncle are facing marital issues and can’t help but sense that it is his fault. Edward knows that his aunt had struggled with having multiple miscarriages but what he doesn’t know is she still is struggling, but is putting on a brave face to raise him. Throughout the novel the reader gets introduced to multiple people who were on the airplane with Edward and his family from the Afghanistan veteran on his way home from war to the unexpected mother to be. These passengers all belonged to a loved one whom they left behind and soon Edward is reading thousands of letters some from those loved ones and others are strangers whom offer Edward support. Edward is then once again transported back to the crash and finds himself wondering what everyone would want him to do. Ann Napolitano did an amazing job at introducing each character and telling their story in Dear Edward. The timelines did go back and forth from present day to before the airplane crash which i had no problem understanding. I loved every aspect of this novel along with each character. It truly captivated my heart and had me shedding some tears.