Finished Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano. I received a copy for review.
Summary (from Goodreads):
“Inspired by a true story of one child’s incredible survival–riveting, uplifting, unforgettable.
After losing everything, a young boy discovers there are still reasons for hope in this luminous, life-affirming novel, perfect for fans of Celeste Ng and Ann Patchett.
In the face of tragedy, what does it take to find joy?
One summer morning, twelve-year-old Edward Adler, his beloved older brother, his parents, and 183 other passengers board a flight in Newark headed for Los Angeles. Among them is a Wall Street wunderkind, a young woman coming to terms with an unexpected pregnancy, an injured vet returning from Afghanistan, a septuagenarian business tycoon, and a free-spirited woman running away from her controlling husband. And then, tragically, the plane crashes. Edward is the sole survivor.
Edward’s story captures the attention of the nation, but he struggles to find a place for himself in a world without his family. He continues to feel that a piece of him has been left in the sky, forever tied to the plane and all of his fellow passengers. But then he makes an unexpected discovery–one that will lead him to the answers of some of life’s most profound questions: When you’ve lost everything, how do find yourself? How do you discover your purpose? What does it mean not just to survive, but to truly live?
Dear Edward is at once a transcendent coming-of-age story, a multidimensional portrait of an unforgettable cast of characters, and a breathtaking illustration of all the ways a broken heart learns to love again.”
This was such a heartbreaking book. It’s not constantly devastating, but it’s definitely not a light read.
Reading this made me question a lot of things but the one I kept returning to was how would you be able to go on if you were the only survivor of a tragedy? Do you have any sort of responsibility to do something amazing with your life because almost 200 people died and you didn’t? Do you have the responsibility to be a public figure because the whole country prayed for you? And if you were a child when it happened, does that change any of the answers?
It was impossible not to love Edward and to not feel his grief. It was especially hard in the early pages because he’s 12 and everything is too big to deal with. It would be too much for me, as someone who’s almost 40, and how would you even begin if you weren’t even a teenager?
This book is an amazing experience. It’s heartbreaking but also very human in the best way. Highly recommended.