A transcendent coming-of-age story about the ways a broken heart learns to love again.
One summer morning, a flight takes off from New York to Los Angeles: there are 192 people aboard. When the plane suddenly crashes, twelve-year-old Edward Adler is the sole survivor.
In the aftermath, Edward struggles to make sense of his grief, sudden fame and find his place in a world without his family. But then Edward and his neighbour Shay make a startling discovery; hidden in his uncle’s garage are letters from the relatives of other passengers – all addressed him.
Following the passengers’ final hours and Edward’s unique coming-of-age, Dear Edward asks one of life’s most profound questions:
What does it mean not just to survive, but to truly live?
I used to love flying – I even flew to Singapore by myself at the tender age of nineteen. I didn’t give safety or plane crashes a second thought. Then once I had children, it began to really bother me and I’m not sure why. Now, I really, really don’t like it and have to take Valium before a flight.
So a book centred around a plane crash may not have been the most sensible choice, but this was a really unusual and thought-provoking read, full of emotion, without being sentimental, and a really sensitive and intriguing take on a very unusual situation.
Edward is lovely, really sympathetically portrayed, his awkwardness, his confusion, his guilt, his grief, all so well-written. I really wanted him to find a sense of peace, contentment, and happiness.
The reactions of those around him, family, friends, strangers, is an interesting commentary on how we often feel entitled to bits of a person’s life, even if we don’t know them. For me, the interactions with the families of those who died in the crash were a highlight of the book.
My only niggle was that I really didn’t warm to Shay at all. Their friendship didn’t feel authentic to me. Otherwise a lovely book, beautifully-written, and intriguing.
Hasn’t made me feel any better about flying though!