4 reviews

Dear Edward: A Novel
by Ann Napolitano

Published: 2020-01-06
Hardcover : 352 pages
11 members reading this now
146 clubs reading this now
4 members have read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 4 of 4 members
A twelve-year-old boy struggles with the worst kind of fameâ??as the sole survivor of a notorious plane crashâ??in this â??stunning novel of courage and connectionâ? (Helen Simonson, bestselling author of Major Pettigrewâ??s Last Stand).
â??A rich, big-hearted tapestry ...
No other editions available.
Add to Club Selections
Add to Possible Club Selections
Add to My Personal Queue
Jump to


A twelve-year-old boy struggles with the worst kind of fameâ??as the sole survivor of a notorious plane crashâ??in this â??stunning novel of courage and connectionâ? (Helen Simonson, bestselling author of Major Pettigrewâ??s Last Stand).
â??A rich, big-hearted tapestry that leaves no one behind . . . Ann Napolitano brings clear-eyed compassion to every character.â?â??Chloe Benjamin, bestselling author of The Immortalists

What does it mean not just to survive, but to truly live? 

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 are a Wall Street wunderkind, a young woman coming to terms with an unexpected pregnancy, an injured veteran returning from Afghanistan, a business tycoon, and a free-spirited woman running away from her controlling husband. Halfway across the country, the plane crashes. Edward is the sole survivor.

Edwardâ??s story captures the attention of the nation, but he struggles to find a place in a world without his family. He continues to feel that a part of himself has been left in the sky, forever tied to the plane and all of his fellow passengers. But then he makes an unexpected discoveryâ??one that will lead him to the answers of some of lifeâ??s most profound questions: When youâ??ve lost everything, how do you find the strength to put one foot in front of the other? How do you learn to feel safe again? How do you find meaning in your life?

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.

Advance praise for Dear Edward

â??Dear Edward made me think, nod in recognition, care about its characters, and cry, and you canâ??t ask more of a novel than that.â?â??Emma Donoghue, New York Times bestselling author of Room

â??Weaving past and present into a profoundly beautiful, page-turning story of mystery, loss, and wonder, Dear Edward is a meditation on survival, but more important, it is about carving a life worth living. It is about love and hope and caring for others, and all the transitory moments that bind us together.â?â??Hannah Tinti, author of The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley and The Good Thief

Editorial Review

No editorial review at this time.


No Excerpt Currently Available

Discussion Questions

From Jenna:

1. In what ways can reading a tragic book actually help us find joy in our daily lives?
2. Have you experienced other books, movies or TV shows that have broken your heart, but left you with a feeling of hope? What characteristics do these stories have in common?
3. Does "Dear Edward" influence the way you respond to emotional stories in the news? Do you think we have a responsibility to remember the people affected by these stories and continue to help them long after they’ve disappeared from the headlines?
4. Do you normally interact with people around you on a flight? After reading this book, do you think your perception of your fellow passengers will change?
5. How did you feel reading this book knowing that everyone on the plane was going to die except for Edward? How did the plane chapters and the Edward chapters feel different from each other?
6. Before the hearing in Washington, D.C., Shay tells Edward no one there can hurt him, and in fact, no one can hurt him ever again, because he has already lost everything. Did this ring true to you? Does this notion comfort Edward in any way? Would it comfort you?
7. Louisa Cox tells Edward the tragedy and its aftermath would have been much easier for him if he hated his family. Do you agree with this? In what ways can love make life harder? In what ways can love make life easier?
8. Edward has to make decisions about when to face things, like whether or not to go to the memorial or the hearing. Where is the line between shielding yourself from things for your own protection and facing them so that you can move on?
9. After the hearing, Edward tells his uncle he doesn’t want to know why the plane crashed. Why do you think this is? Would you want to know?
10. Many of the other passengers on the plane learn about themselves over the course of the flight. Who do you think changes the most in the air? Who do you think changes the least?
11. Which of the characters on the plane, other than Edward, did you identify with the most? Why?
12. For months after the crash, Edward can only sleep at Shay’s house. Why is this? How and why does Shay become an immediate source of comfort for him in the aftermath?
13. What do you think made people all over the country write letters to Edward? Do you think they wanted a response? What did they really want from him?
14. Was it fair for adults and children alike to write letters to Edward, who was just a child?
15. Do you think John and Lacey were right to keep all the letters from Edward? How do you determine when someone is ready to bear such a huge emotional weight?
16. In the end, Edward decides to use the millions of dollars he received to help other people, but he wants his donations to be anonymous. Why do you think he doesn’t want his name to be connected with them? Do you agree with his decision to remain anonymous?
17. Towards the end of the book, we learn that the plane crashed due to a preventable human error. How did you react to this news? Did it change the weight of the tragedy at all? How should we feel about the fact that the crash was actually somebody’s fault?
18. What moment from the book will stick with you the longest?

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

No notes at this time.

Book Club Recommendations

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
by Lisa F. (see profile) 03/04/24

by gina v. (see profile) 02/17/24

by Kylie R. (see profile) 01/19/24

by Ana H. (see profile) 12/22/23

by Doreen C. (see profile) 04/30/23

by lauren d. (see profile) 01/09/23

by Select H. (see profile) 07/18/22

by Shanon L. (see profile) 03/09/22

  "Life goes on"by liz p. (see profile) 01/16/22

Edward is just twelve years old when his parents and fifteen year old brother get on a flight from NYC to LA. They are moving across the country because his mother is starting a new job. Th... (read more)

by Jade A. (see profile) 01/13/22

Rate this book
Remember me

Now serving over 80,000 book clubs & ready to welcome yours. Join us and get the Top Book Club Picks of 2022 (so far).



Get free weekly updates on top club picks, book giveaways, author events and more
Please wait...