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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

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4.5 out of 5
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  • Sole Survivor - what does it feel like

    So good to read a story about the people left behind after an accident and the dealing with the guilt and separation of the one who survived - too often our world talks about how lucky people are to survive without registering the guilt and after affects they must feel. I found the different reactions of the people in this story believable and the need to return to a sense of a new normal.

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  • Dear Edward

    I foud the book an enjoyable read. A teenagers struggle of finding his own path was a true reflection. A quick and easy read.

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  • Simply Wonderful

    Ann Napolitano writes a beautiful but heartrending story full of wonder, richness and loss. A plane en route from Newark to Los Angeles crashes, killing everyone on board except for 12 year old Edward Adler. Not only does Edward lose the life he adores; he must also come to terms with the loss of his family - his parents and his beloved older brother, Jordan. The novel travels back and forth in time between events during the flight and Edward’s life afterwards. The prose flows seamlessly and I found both timelines equally fascinating. On the plane, the reader is privy to the family dynamics of Edward’s immediate family, as well as meeting a Wall Street wheeler and dealer, an unmarried woman who may (or not) be pregnant, an obnoxious septuagenarian business tycoon, a wounded veteran returning from Afghanistan, and a nonconformist woman running away from her controlling husband. These well-developed characters are very much a part of the narrative, creating interesting storylines that are not about overcoming tragedy. This helps to make the novel a more arresting read, since the bulk of the story in the present describes Edward’s depression. A traumatised Edward, carrying his heavy burden of grief and sorrow, goes to live with his Aunt Lacey and his protective Uncle John, at their home in West Milford, New Jersey. Aunt Lacey is struggling to handle her own losses. Having been home schooled, Edward now has to cope with attending a local school, getting used to the other children, and socialising with them. A girl of his own age, and neighbour, Shay, becomes his greatest solace, and they develop a close friendship. I didn't expect to become so emotionally invested in this novel. I felt immense sadness for Edward, losing not only all of his immediate family, but also his future with them, particularly his 15-year old-brother as they will never get to grow up alongside each other. This was a magnificent, moving story of the power of love, friendship and caring, to help a young boy cope with a terrible tragedy and give him hope for the future. Highly recommended, with confidence. I received a complimentary copy of this novel, at my request, from Penguin Books UK/ Viking via NetGalley. This review is my own unbiased opinion.

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