Here’s my review of Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano – as part of the blog tour! Read on to find out what I thought…
Dear Edward has a fascinating premise – a young boy is the sole survivor of a plane crash – but in many ways the plane crash in question is not at all what this novel is about.
To me, Dear Edward is a beautifully written, thoughtful story about loss, grief, friendship, and growing up. Our main character, Edward, is dealing with a horrific experience – not only being involved in a plane crash, but losing his parents and brother in the same accident. He’s taken in by his aunt and uncle, and we see him as he struggles to come to terms with everything and navigate a very different life to the one he had before.
The story has multiple strands – we see the doomed plane journey itself, which slowly builds the tension (we know how it will end, of course, but we don’t know how the crash came about), as well as Edward’s life post-accident and also various other characters’ lives who were on the plane with Edward and his family. There are some emotional stories we learn about other passengers – their backgrounds and lives – which adds a real sense of sadness at some points, particularly as we know none of them were going to ever make it off the plane.
Dear Edward also has hope and sweetness at some points, going some way towards balancing out the sadder points, and reading about his relationship with Shay and her family, and his aunt and uncle, meant I found myself really caring what happened to him. There are a few parts which felt a little slow to me, but it soon drew me back into the wonderful stories of all these rich, colourful characters – from ex-soldier Benjamin to Florida and her interesting clothing! And through it all, of course, we wonder what actually caused the plane crash in the first place…
I’d really recommend this beautiful, sad and touching novel.
Many thanks to Viking Books for providing a copy of this novel on which I chose to write an honest and unbiased review.
[About the Author]
Ann Napolitano’s new novel, Dear Edward, was published by Dial Press in January 2020. She is the author of the novels A Good Hard Look and Within Arm’s Reach. She is also the Associate Editor of One Story literary magazine. She received an MFA from New York University; she has taught fiction writing for Brooklyn College’s MFA program, New York University’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies and for Gotham Writers’ Workshop.
Dear Edward was published by Dial Press in the United States, and by Viking Penguin in the United Kingdom. The novel currently has fifteen international publishers.
Ann lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two children.