Book Review: Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano

One summer morning, a flight takes off from New York to Los Angeles.

There are 192 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?


I am very happy to be part of the blog tour for Dear Edward, the latest novel from Ann Napolitano.

Dear Edward is the story of Edward who is a sole survivor of a plane crash that claims the lives of his parents and older brother. Now living with his Auntie and Uncle, this twelve-year-old is having adjust to life that is so different to everything he’s ever known whilst being in the spotlight post plane crash.

Dear Edward is unlike any novel I’ve ever read. You know when you pick up a book and just from the blurb on the back of the novel you know that you’re going to like it/get a lot from it? This book was an example of that for me.

Set between the events prior to the crash and the aftermath, it is so much more than how one boy deals with it.

This book is beautifully written. I found Edward’s story pre-crash interesting. He, as well as John and Lacey, are incredibly brave and complex people.

I was drawn to the people on the plane and connected with them. There’s a real mixture of characters. I empathised and grew to really care for all of them for various reasons.

This book is compelling and deals with themes such as grief, PTSD and moving through trauma with great sensitivity and realistic behaviours.

There are heartbreaking moments but there is also life affirming ones during this emotional rollercoaster of a novel as Edward tries to come to terms with all that he has lost.

This book had me up reading until the early hours and crying also.

This is a fantastic novel that show there can be signs of hope and love, even through difficult times.


About Ann: 

Ann Napolitano’s new novel, Dear Edward, was published in January 2020.

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. 

Ann lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two children.

Say hi to Ann on Twitter:

Click to view Dear Edward on Amazon UK.


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I’m Laura. I started Novel Kicks in 2009. I wanted a place to post my writing as well as give other writers like me the opportunity to do the same. There is also a monthly book club, a writing room which features writing prompts, book reviews, competitions, author interviews and guest posts.

I grew up by the sea (my favourite place in the world) and I currently live in Hampshire. I am married to Chris, have a cat named Buddy and I would love to be a writer. I’m trying to write the novel I’ve talked so much about writing if only I could stop pressing delete. I’ve loved writing since creative writing classes in primary school. I have always wanted to see my teacher Miss Sayers again and thank her for the encouragement. When not trying to write the novel or writing snippets of stories on anything I can get my hands on, I love reading, dancing like a loon and singing to myself very badly. My current obsession is Once Upon a Time and I would be happy to live with magic in the enchanted forest surrounded by all those wonderful stories provided that world also included Harry Potter. I love reading chick lit. contemporary fiction and novels with mystery.

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