“He watches his new life walk into his old life.” Ann Napolitano, Dear Edward
“Dear Edward” by Ann Napolitano was a very fascinating novel of literary fiction. Edward is the sole survivor of an airplane crash over Colorado. The book is about the lives of passengers on the plane and then the life of Edward as a “miracle child.”
What is it like for someone who free-falls 30,000 feet from and airplane and escapes with minor injuries but the permanent trauma in his mind pervades everything else, his friendship with a neighbor, his relationship with his aunt and uncle who become his legal guardians, the people at his school, and then the family members of passengers with those who died in the crash.
“Dear Edward” is a coming-of-age story about this survivor, spared by random chance, who has everyone else’s expectations on him. The things that each person wants him to do become a weight on him, but in the process Edward learns to say “no.” He learns about what he wants and about making decisions for himself and the understanding of agency.
This book was excellent. I really enjoyed how Napolitano unfurled it and mixes in the stories of the plane’s crash and Edward’s life after the crash. It is such a fascinating read of growing up, understanding yourself, and others’ expectations.