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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 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

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Emotional


  • Illustrated icon, Icon_NonLinear

    Nonlinear timeline

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Sad


  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Literary



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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Free sample

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

Why I love it

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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Member ratings (12,948)

  • Laura T.

    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.

  • Tessa L.

    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

  • Heather B.

    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.

  • Gabrielle C.

    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!

  • Alli M.

    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.