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Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano
Contemporary fiction

Dear Edward

Early Release
This is an early release that's only available to our members—the rest of the world has to wait 'til next month to read it.

by Ann Napolitano

Quick take

A highly publicized plane crash leaves the survivor to find normalcy again while under the glare of media fascination.

Good to know

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    Nonlinear timeline

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Dear Edward is the January #ReadWithJenna book club pick.

Why I love it

Jenna Bush Hager
Co-host, TODAY with Hoda & Jenna

I am thrilled to be teaming up with Book of the Month to share my Read with Jenna January pick. To start this year off, I’ve chosen Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano. This remarkable story is about a 12-year-old boy named Edward, who miraculously survives a plane crash that takes the lives of all other passengers, including his entire family. After this heartbreaking ordeal, he has to find the resilience to create a new life for himself.

For Edward, something terrible has happened—but he finds the grace to keep going. To me, that is a beautiful message. One element of this story I particularly loved was the relationship between Edward and his brother which reminded me so much of my sister and I. There are so many special relationships in this book that I think any reader will be able to connect with the book in the same way.

There is no better book to start the year, when we’re thinking about new beginnings and what we want for ourselves. Ultimately Dear Edward is a story about how we are all connected and how we can lift each other up. I hope you’ll read with me this month and join in the conversation on our Read with Jenna Facebook, Instagram, and Goodreads pages.

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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?

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Get an early look from the first pages of Dear Edward.

Member thoughts

All (10291)
All (10291)
Love (5682)
Like (4064)
Dislike (545)
10473 ratings
  • 54% Love
  • 39% Like
  • 5% Dislike
  • West Islip, NY

    This book had beautiful storytelling, and the emotions that Napolitano captured felt very genuine and raw. ⁣⁣ ???????????? ????’???? ???????????????????????????????????? ???????????????? ???????????????? ????????: Anyone who loves a comeback story.

  • South Jordan , UT

    It’s been a long time since I’ve read a book whose characters and story were as powerful as this one. How does he move on from an insurmountable grief? Edward’s story is a special one I won’t forget

  • Fernandina beach , FL

    The timing of this book is perfect, right when you got into the “current day” storyline it would bring you back to the plane and vice versa. The story was riveting and interesting.I loved this book!

  • Jefferson City, MO

    Friendship, family, loss, and heart-warming connections. Napolitano successfully alternates between the worlds of “Edward” and “Eddie”. Couldn’t put down as the plane ride & characters develop.

  • Albany, KY

    This book had it all—heart-wrenching moments, mystery, family dynamics, coming-of-age—you name it. It was just what was needed for 2020–finding strength in times of uncertainty. I LOVED this book.

  • Lemoore , CA

    I’m gonna say it and say that this is my favorite book that I’ve gotten from this box subscription. This definitely had a huge impact on me. It blew me away with the story and the structure. Read it!

  • Boston, MA

    While reading, I didn’t feel blown away. But, as I closed the back cover my heart was both heavy and lifted by the pages I just read. Swift, heartbreaking & raw, this book won’t leave me any time soon

  • Saint Paul, MN

    Emotionally gut-punched by this one. I couldn’t put it down and I finished it in two days. A beautiful, raw, and believable portrait of grief, survivor’s guilt, depression, and the search for meaning.

  • Washington , DC

    I read this book in one day, today. It’s my favorite book I’ve read all year. I’ll recommend it to all my friends and loved ones. And I’ll continue to think about it long after I’ve finished it.

  • Billings, MT

    The best book I’ve read in years! Sad premise, but hopeful and life-affirming. Dear Edward covers complex relationships, trauma, grief, new beginnings, etc. I’ll be thinking about it for a long time!

  • Olathe, KS

    I really liked this book. It was a little slow at first, but then it picked up and had me hooked! I recognised the flight that the book one was based on from listening to the podcast BlackBoxDown. ❤️

  • Maple Valley, WA

    So glad I picked this up. This is a coming-of-age tale that also deals with grief and trauma in a way that didn’t feel melodramatic and inauthentic. This is one I’m still thinking about weeks later.

  • Randolph, NJ

    The heartbreakingly beautiful story crafted about a plane crash. The “before” for all the passengers and the “after” for the sole survivor, a seemingly fortunate young boy. I laughed and cried.

  • Norwood, PA

    This book was emotional- it was one that left me feeling both broken and healed and changed my outlook on life. I’ll be thinking about it, and Edward, for a long, long time. Absolutely a new favorite.

  • Geneva , IL

    I had just experienced 2 losses within 3 wks of reading this book: a 16 y/o former student, and my husband’s 98 y/o grandfather. In the midst of all that death, this book is a reminder to really live.

  • North Tonawanda , NY

    What a great book! I found myself thinking about it long after I finished. Really made you think how a lone survivor really feels after a tragedy as opposed to the way we think they would feel. Loved it

  • New York, NY

    A young boy’s journey of working through loss and guilt is both heartbreaking and uplifting. His healing process is highlighted by a unique bond with his young neighbor. My favorite part of the book!

  • New Franklin, OH

    The first 10 or 15 pages didn’t impress me much so I set the book aside for a couple weeks. When I started reading it again I fell in love with it. Edward is so genuine as where the other main charac

  • Granville , NY

    I was so hesitant about getting this book at first, but I am so glad I did. This is not the typical genre I read, but I loved it. I couldn’t put it down, I needed to know what happened. Highly recomen

  • Sachse, TX

    Dear Edward was so, so good! As the lone survivor of a cross country plane trip, Edward has to pick up the pieces of his 11 year old life. It doesnt hapoen quickly and it doesn’t happen by himself.

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