Blanche’s Book Club: ‘Dear Edward’.

I am continue to zip through books this year and I think it’s doing a lot of good for my mental health. It keeps me from mindlessly scrolling through social media, and I’ve joined a few virtual book clubs that get me socially involved — from a safe distance 🙂

The latest read from Blanche’s Book Club has been a popular one: “Dear Edward” by Ann Napolitano. Here’s the scoop:

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 are a Wall Street wunderkind, a young woman coming to terms with an unexpected pregnancy, an injured veteran returning from Afghanistan, a business tycoon, and a free-spirited woman running away from her controlling husband. Halfway across the country, the plane crashes. Edward is the sole survivor.

Edward’s story captures the attention of the nation, but he struggles to find a place in a world without his family. He continues to feel that a part of himself 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 you find the strength to put one foot in front of the other? How do you learn to feel safe again? How do you find meaning in your life?

Dear Edward is at once a transcendent coming-of-age story, a multidimensional portrait of an unforgettable cast of characters, and a breathtaking illustration of all the ways a broken heart learns to love again.

I daringly read this despite having an international flight planned in two weeks. Oops! While this book has gotten a lot of praise, I did not love it. It was compared to “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” and I’d have to disagree with that entirely.

Because I knew everyone on the plane (minus Edward) was going to die, I found it difficult to get invested in them during the flight. I also felt that, for such an emotional topic, this book didn’t scratch the surface on what that might actually feel like — to be the sole survivor of a plane crash and lose your family.

Now, it wasn’t a total loss — I gave it 3 stars on Goodreads — there were a few scenes that were really well-written and gave the plot some life.

Something occurs to Edward. “Wait a minute,” he says. He stares down at the lock. These four digits were programmed by his uncle, which means they’re not random. “I have an idea.” He spins each of the four dials until the lock reads 2977. There’s a loud click, and the lock mechanism opens quietly and falls into Edward’s waiting palm. “You did it,” Shay whispers. She leans forward and unzips the length of the duffel bag. This seems to take a long time, and Edward watches. He’s aware that part of him had not wanted the bag to open. He’d wanted them to remain in the corner, a mystery that enticed Shay but a mystery unanswered. I wonder instead of I know. “It’s full of paper,” Shay says. The bag is stuffed with envelopes. Shay picks one up, and Edward reads the handwritten name above the address. Edward Adler.

I don’t know that I’d necessarily recommend this book, but if you read the description and think it’s for you — go for it.

The next book Blanche’s Book Club will be reading is “Red, White & Royal Blue” by Casey McQuiston.

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