Martin's Must Reads: 'Dear Edward'

Jun 8, 2021

What would life look like for a twelve year old boy who is the only survivor of a plane crash where 191 passengers die including his parents and brother? How would he survive that loss?

I’m Betty Martin with "Martin’s Must Reads" and that’s the main theme to Ann Napolitano’s novel Dear Edward. At 9:05 on June 12, 2013 a plane leaves Newark, New Jersey, to begin it’s non- stop flight to Los Angeles.

In alternating chapters, the flight progresses through the day as Napolitano introduces some of the passengers: the multi-millionaire Crispin, newly pregnant Linda, injured retired army soldier Benjamin, obnoxious businessman Mark, attractive flight attendant Veronica and the Adler family: Jane, Bruce, Jordan and Edward.

At 2:12 p.m. the plane crashes in Colorado and Edward is the only miraculous survivor. His uncle and aunt take him in and do their best to help him move forward from this great tragedy. Fortunately for Edward the house next door is home to another twelve year old, Shay, who walks beside him as he heals.

For at least a year, he sleeps on Shay’s floor unable to sleep in his uncle’s home. His uncle keeps a record of crash information and stores the mail that comes for Edward. Two years after the crash Edward finds the folders of information and two duffel bags of letters from vicitim’s families. He and Shay read each letter and document them in a spreadsheet. And then what? When you’ve lost everything how do you find the strength to put one foot in front of the other?

If you want to read a story of (as the book jacket says) “A breathtaking illustration of all the ways a broken heart learns to love again” then you must read Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano.