Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano – it may sound odd, but this is a book I tried to savor. I became immersed in the characters and Edward’s story and wanted to make it last.
Edward is the sole survivor of a plane crash. He was with his brother and parents flying from New York to their new home in California when the plane went down.
After the crash, Edward goes back to live with his aunt and uncle in New Jersey. Edward is numb. Seen as a miracle and an oddity by all, he survives each day in a trance. He is able to find comfort from his neighbor Shay, a girl his age who tells it like it is. Her frank, open company seems to be Edward’s only comfort.
Years pass before they discover locked duffel bags in his uncle’s garage. These bags hold hundreds of letters written through the years to Edward from family or friends of the plane’s deceased. All have special messages or requests for Edward on behalf of their lost loved ones. These letters have a profound effect on Edward. They begin to fully awaken him (while ironically allowing him his first real sleep in years).
Throughout Edward’s story after the crash, readers are given glimpses from during the flight. We gain knowledge of some of the other lives that are lost. Each character has his/her own unique addition to the story. These people are rediscovered in the letters.
The characters and events are interesting and satisfying. It’s hard to even begin to imagine how life could possibly go on after such a traumatic event. Healing takes time. And breakthroughs can occur in unexpected ways.