by Ann Napolitano
I enjoyed this book but I still have mixed feelings about it. Which I can’t quite put my finger on. The other thing that I found a bit confusing while reading the book, is that it keeps going back in time. To the lives of the people who perished in the plane crash, without any warning. Your reading one paragraph which is in the present and in the next paragraph you’ve gone back in time. Once I got used to it, it did become a bit easier with the jumping around. There are also a lot of characters that you have to try and keep track of. I did get a bit mixed up with some of the characters.
This story is based around (Eddie) Edward a 15 year old boy who is the soul survivor of a plane crash. Edward and his family were moving out to California for his mothers new job as a screen writer.
On the flight his mother was in first class as she hadn’t finished the script she was working on. So Edward, his older brother and father were in coach.
Once the crash had happened Edward was in hospital for months recovering from his injuries. While he was in the hospital he was in his own little bubble. As he was protected from the aftermath of the crash and all the stories that were on the news, and all forms of social media.
So on the day Edward left hospital there were lots of people around trying to get a glimpse of what they dubbed as the miracle child. People were trying to touch him, some were crying and others were praying.
When Edward gets to his aunt and uncles they take him up to their spare room. Which is basically set up as a nursery for his aunts failed pregnancies. They offer to change the room to exactly how he wants it, but he says no thank you. Then he goes back down stairs.
Edward is so detached from everything but he finds friendship with his next door neighbours daughter Shay. Every night he hobbles to his neighbours house to go and sleep on the floor of Shay’s bedroom. It becomes the only place that he can actually sleep.
After months of Edward sleeping on Shay’s bedroom floor, her mother tells him that he can no longer sleep in Shay’s room as it isn’t the correct thing to do anymore.
This puts Edward into a bit of a tale-spin, as he doesn’t know where to go. His aunt and uncle find him outside asleep in the cold. If they hadn’t spotted him when they did things could have become a lot worse. After that night Edward decided that he would sleep on the sofa bed in the basement, as he still didn’t want to use the bedroom upstairs.
One night when he couldn’t sleep Edward found himself outside his uncles garage. He went in to just have a look around. Part of the garage had been made in to an office. It had a comfortable chair and stool. He noticed that there were files that had printouts from the internet with everything and anything to do with the plane crash.
After that first night he found himself going back to the garage to read and learn more on the information his uncle had collected. At first he didn’t tell Shay and when he did tell her she also started to join him. Every night he and Shay had to wait until his aunt and uncle and also Shay’s mother had all gone to bed so they wouldn’t be discovered.
Edward’s uncle had collected information about all of the other people on the plane but there were some gaps. As though he hadn’t been able to get any information.
Edward and Shay also discovered 2 large bags that were zipped up and padlocked. They were both sure that they were also to do with the crash. Except they couldn’t open them. After trying a few random numbers they decided to put the date of the crash in and the locks opened.
What they found astounded them both as they where all addressed to Edward. At first Edward hoped that there might be something from his parents. That hope was dashed as they opened a few of the letters and started to read them.
The letters were from relatives of the people who had died in the crash. Some of the letters were wishing him well, where others were asking if he remembered their relatives. Some were requests asking him if he’d follow in their relatives careers or asking him to go on the trips that they were hoping to go on, as their relatives were no longer able to do these.
Shay put a spreadsheet together listing all of the letters, who they were from and what the requests were and if they were going to reply to them.
During this time, Edward was finally given the all clear from the hospital. Which meant he was finally allowed to go back to school. Even though Edward was ahead of the school curriculum, due to him and his brother being home schooled. They decided that he should be in the same classes as Shay to get him settled in, with everything he’d gone through. His headmaster also took Edward under his wing, making sure that once a week he’d help to look after the plants he had in his office, which was a bit like a jungle as there were so many plant.
As the months went by Edward and Shay were still going in to the garage each night to read and log the letters. On one particular night Edwards uncle caught them. As he himself was struggling with sleep, due to the strain in his marriage to Edwards aunt. As the fall out from the crash was also affecting them, because they couldn’t agree on what Edward should know about the crash, with one of them thinking that he was too young to know everything.
His uncle told them that he had been and still was gathering information about the crash and that he was keeping all of the letters safe so Edward could read them when he was older. They all decided that if Edward wanted to know about the crash and read the letters why not do it together.
As time went on with them working together Edwards aunt and uncle were slowly getting back to how they were. Edward was also becoming less detached and was slowly getting back to living, his life as best he could with out his brother and parents.
Over all this is a good book, but there are quite a few characters that you have to keep track of. As I have already said before the story jumps between the past and the present with out any warning.
Pages: 352, Publication Date: 27 February 2020, My Rating:
1 thought on “Dear Edward”