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Dear Edward: A Novel Paperback – February 2, 2021

4.5 out of 5 stars 10,113 ratings

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From the Publisher

Editorial Reviews


“A surprisingly uplifting story, full of hope and dry humor, with an underlying, noncloying message about the decency of strangers.”The New York Times Book Review
“A harrowing yet ultimately optimistic story about the sole survivor of a plane crash.”O: The Oprah Magazine
“A haunting novel that’s a masterful study in suspense, grief and survival . . . Napolitano’s fearless examination of what took place models a way forward for all of us. She takes care not to sensationalize, presenting even the most harrowing scenes in graceful, understated prose, and gives us a powerful book about living a meaningful life during the most difficult of times.”The New York Times Book Review (Editors’ Choice)
“Transportative . . . Make sure you have tissues handy when you read Ann Napolitano’s Dear Edward, a sure-footed tearjerker.”—NPR
“Exquisite . . . an insightful and moving testament to the indomitability of the human spirit.”People

“Ann Napolitano’s new novel is the best book about a young person I’ve read since Emma Donoghue’s Room, and if there’s any justice in the world, it’s going to be a phenomenon: outstanding storytelling, great writing, absolutely The Real Deal.”—John Boyne, bestselling author of The Heart’s Invisible Furies

Dear Edward isn’t just a beautiful novel, clear-eyed and compassionate even as it pulls us into difficult terrain. It’s an examination of what makes us human, how we survive in this mysterious world, how we take care of each other. It’s the kind of book that forces you to trust that the author, who will break your heart, will also lead you toward something wondrous, something profound. After this brilliant novel, I will follow Ann Napolitano to the ends of the earth.”—Kevin Wilson, author of Nothing to See Here

“This is a stunning novel of courage and connection in the face of unimaginable loss. It’s beautifully written, with characters so intensely alive you will hold your breath as they break your heart—an extraordinary read.”—Helen Simonson, author of Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand

“From its breathtaking premise—a boy is the sole survivor of an airplane crash—to its absolutely rhapsodic finish, Dear Edward is about the persistence of hope, the depth of love, and the unexpected, radiant moments that make up our lives. If I loved this stunning novel any more, I’d have to marry it.”—Caroline Leavitt, New York Times bestselling author of Pictures of You and Cruel Beautiful World

“I loved Dear Edward so, so much. It made me laugh and weep. So many times I had to stop after reading a paragraph to acknowledge the beauty of Ann Napolitano’s writing. In Edward, his friend Shay, and the passengers on the airplane, Napolitano offers unforgettable characters, people you know you will miss after you’ve turned the book’s last page. Magnificent!”—Lily King, author of Euphoria

“Contains real bite [and] authenticity . . . Edward’s path to finding purpose and connection is realized with an affecting, quiet empathy.”Entertainment Weekly
“A delicate story of one boy’s physical and psychological recovery . . . Napolitano captures the subtle shades of Edward’s spirit like the earliest intimations of dawn. . . . Persistently lovely . . . one of the most touching stories you’re likely to read in the new year.”The Washington Post

“Stunning . . . In this life-affirming tale, the downright unbearable blossoms into a testament to the power of love and grace.”Vogue

Napolitano weaves Edward’s devastating post-crash experience with heart-pounding chapters set during the final hours and minutes of the flight. Though there’s so much tragedy and loss in this novel, there is also a lot of hope.”Real Simple, “The Best Books of 2020 (So Far)”

“A poignant novel about grief and hope.”Marie Claire

“This haunting story of how one young man copes with the unthinkable cards life has dealt him is heartbreaking, insightful, and altogether unforgettable.”Town & Country

“A twelve-year-old boy is the sole survivor of a Los Angeles–bound plane crash. If this premise doesn't hook you, the prose will. And the flight is filled with a Lost-esque cast of characters that make the fatal crash even more devastating.”TheSkimm

About the Author

Ann Napolitano is the author of the novels A Good Hard Look and Within Arm’s Reach. She is also the associate editor of One Story literary magazine. She received an MFA from New York University and has taught fiction writing at Brooklyn College’s MFA program, New York University’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies, and Gotham Writers Workshop. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two children.

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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Dial Press Trade Paperback (February 2, 2021)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 384 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1984854801
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1984854803
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 9.8 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.14 x 0.78 x 7.88 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,113 ratings

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Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5
10,113 global ratings
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Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on January 6, 2020
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Reviewed in the United States on January 29, 2020
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Reviewed in the United States on January 13, 2020
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Reviewed in the United States on January 8, 2020
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Top reviews from other countries

Elizabeth Keane
5.0 out of 5 stars Emotionally challenging and deeply moving. Fantastic read.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 14, 2020
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19 people found this helpful
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Dzi Dzi
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written and cleverly thought out.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 15, 2020
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9 people found this helpful
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5.0 out of 5 stars A heart-breakingly, painfully real portrayal of grief and trauma...and it’s lasting impact...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 21, 2020
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6 people found this helpful
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Anika May
5.0 out of 5 stars An emotionally gripping and deeply moving novel.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 8, 2020
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5.0 out of 5 stars An emotionally gripping and deeply moving novel.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 8, 2020
“Some people live in the now; other people prefer to reside in the past – either choice is valid.”

Dear Edward is an emotionally gripping and deeply moving novel about a survivor and his grief following tragic loss of his family. It’s a thought-provoking tale of the struggle to heal after trauma, and the ability to find a place in the world after leaving another one behind.

The character of Edward is perfectly constructed. His silences, his confusion, his longing, and his reasoning – all of it is so brilliantly written. It’s both dismaying and stimulating. As a reader, you can’t help but attempt to fathom the recovery for such a harrowing experience. Not all of the characters are likeable, or relatable, but they all have a vulnerability that makes them authentic personalities. Their flaws and insecurities are even further heightened when it comes to the lives of their loved ones. The book seamlessly hops back and forth between two timelines. The lives of the passengers before the crash, and Edward’s life after it. It really adds to the weight of the book, as you learn about the hopes and dreams of people you already know won’t achieve them.

Dear Edward is a book that pushes the reader to reflect. Edward survived the deadly plane crash, but now must learn how to survive all over again. Napolitano writes with honesty and realism, but still gives the reader (and Edward) hope. She has a straightforward, candid, and balanced tone that helps the book to flow easily. Grief and trauma can be written with an intensity that’s off-putting, but Napolitano’s simplistic style is one of my favourite aspects of the novel. If anything, it’s a comfort to read.

The friendship between Edward and Shay is remarkably touching, and brings a warmth to the story that I didn’t see coming. Edward loses everything in the crash, but Shay’s friendship helps him to realise he can regain purpose. While it’s sad to think of this young boy growing up without his family, it’s inspiring to see him find strength in another person. This striking prospect really stirs the heart.

Ann Napolitano has crafted a beautifully poignant coming-of-age tale. It pulls sympathy from the reader in the right places, with the perfect balance of heart-wrenching reservations and life-affirming revelations. Dear Edward is a captivating journey through an unimaginable scenario, and a read I’ll remember for a long time.

Anika |
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5 people found this helpful
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3.0 out of 5 stars Just ‘okay’
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 4, 2020
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6 people found this helpful
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