July 31, 2021

Dear Edward


Fiction
2020 Penguin Random House Audio
Read by Cassandra Campbell
Finished on July 29, 2021
Rating: 4/5 (Very Good)

Publisher's Blurb:

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?

I used to be afraid of flying, but there were several years that I flew a lot and I ultimately overcame that fear. It's been close to five years since I was last on an airplane and, if I can help it, I have no desire to travel that way again. It's not so much the worry of crashing as much as all the time spent getting to and from the airports, the waiting around for flights (and luggage), and the general inconvenience and rude passengers. My husband feels the same, and now that we own a motorhome, there really isn't a reason to ever fly again. (Of course, there are always family situations that come up that may require us to be somewhere quickly, but given a choice, we'd rather take our time and go in the RV.) So, this story, which is centered around the events leading up to a plane crash, didn't scare me the way it once might have. I was able to listen to the panic in the pilots' voices and not feel anxious, perhaps because those passages take place at the end of the novel, so there were no big surprises.

Napolitano's novel alternates between the experience of the passengers on the flight (including the details leading up to the crash) and that of Edward and the years following the crash when he was taken in by his aunt and uncle. The characters are believable and I loved the developing friendship between Edward and Shay, who is wise beyond her years. 

Cassandra Campbell is one of my favorite audiobook readers and, as always, her performance was outstanding. There was never any doubt as to which character was speaking, each were so perfectly depicted.

Recommend!

22 comments:

  1. Glad you liked this one. I still plan to get to it. Though I will try to keep clear of it while on an airplane. I have a flight in like a week. I've been more of a flyer in life than a long distance driver .... but I think your RVing seems really nice & sensible.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Susan, I will be interested to hear your thoughts on this one. Safe travels to CA. We're driving (in the RV) to Santa Rosa about the same time as your trip. I'm hoping there won't be any problems with fires...

      Delete
  2. That sounds like an intense book, I’d like to add that to my long to-read list.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tina, it was surprisingly NOT intense. Maybe because I listened to the audio, although you would think that would make it more intense. I'll be interested in your thoughts, if and when you do read it.

      Delete
  3. This sounds so interesting! When I read about plane crashes, I wonder about the individuals on the plane and about their lives and loved ones. What a haunting experience for a young person to survive such a terrible tragedy. I never had a genuine fear of flying in the past, but now I wouldn't want to get on a plane for many reasons--one being the disruptive behavior of passengers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jenclair, the author was inspired to write this book after reading about a true event of a young Dutch boy surviving a crash. I can't imagine what that would have been like for him!

      Yep, I don't want to get on a plane any time soon, if ever!

      Delete
  4. I think I will get a copy of this book soon because the more reviews I read about it the more it grabs my attention. Glad you enjoyed it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Vicki, a lot of readers really enjoyed the book. It's quite compelling.

      Delete
  5. This sounds intense! I hate everything about flying, which is why I've been avoiding this book, though I've seen many great reviews. Cassandra Campbell is one of my favorite narrators too. Glad you enjoyed it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Diana, the audiobook is so well done. Highly recommend it!

      Thanks for stopping by with your comment. I'll pop over to your blog soon!

      Delete
  6. I remember hearing good things about this one. I am not afraid of flying either, but the process really is exhausting these days!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Helen, the process of flying is exhausting, isn't it?! Even though it takes so much longer, I'd much rather drive, either in a car or the RV.

      Delete
  7. I'd like to read it despite the tragic overtones. Thanks for the post.

    ReplyDelete
  8. It was a good read. I felt like the relationship between Edward and Shay was a little convenient but the idea of being a lone survivor and then wanting to somehow help ease the pain of the grieving. They stuck with me.

    I am about to fly after at least a decade. I’m not afraid either but like you, I don’t enjoy the prep work and our flights are not direct which causes me anxiety. No direct flights even with airport changes. We will make due.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ti, I went back to your review and agree with your thoughts that the author keeps you at arm's length. Maybe that's why I never felt overly sad for Edward (or terrified of the crash). I also agree that some of it was a little too convenient. I had a hard time believing the situation in the cockpit between the pilots. Where was the professional dialogue about the problems they were facing? How could one not know what the other was doing (or not doing)?

      Wishing you a good trip this month. The one good thing about flying is having all that time to read. :)

      Delete
  9. Flying isn't fun anymore at all. Like you, I much prefer traveling by RV and haven't flown anywhere in years. That, of course, makes it a bit challenging to think about overseas travel. Anyway...this looks like a very interesting book, and I'm putting it on my list!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Laurel, I'm not a fan of flying, but I'm willing to make an exception if it involves overseas travel. It's been almost 6 years since I went to Germany (my mom and I went on a 2-week river cruise) and my daughter gifted me an upgrade so I was able to fly in First Class. That made it much more pleasant. If only I could always fly that way! :)

      Delete
  10. My in-laws used to fly a lot but they go far out of their way to avoid it now. Their complaints are the way we're crammed in like sardines and that they get sick after every flight they take (pre-covid). I have to say I agree with them. But we still fly when we have to. And I complain bitterly the whole time!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jen, unless we have to travel a great distance in a very short period of time, I doubt we'll ever fly again. We're going to a family memorial service later in the month and are so happy we can take the RV.

      Delete
  11. I don't enjoy flying much but given that our families are out of the country that's the only way to see them. Granted since the pandemic we are staying put but this is one of those books that I would enjoy reading just as long as I won't be getting on a plane anytime soon! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Iliana, I was surprised that the details of the crash didn't give me nightmares or make me anxious. It's a story that seems to be lingering in my thoughts, which is indicative of a good read.

      Delete

I may not answer your comments in a timely fashion, but I always answer. Check back soon!