Miracle Of Fate:
Twelve-year-old Edward Adler is moving to California, with his parents and beloved older brother Jordan, when the plane they are travelling in crashes, and he is the sole survivor. Ann Napolitano’s heart-wrenching and uplifting novel, Dear Edward, is about what happens to the boy, whose grief cannot even be imagined.
As if losing his family and being severely wounded weren’t shattering enough, Edward he is pursued by the press and turned into a freak by social media, when all he needs is privacy and a quiet space to mend himself.
Napolitano’s book goes back and forth between Edward’s efforts at overcoming his agony, and the lives of some of the other passengers on the plane, who were undertaking this journey with varying degrees of hope. Edward is taken in by his mother’s sister, Lacey, and her husband, John, a childless couple with problems of their own. He hardly knows them, but they offer him all the love and support they can muster. They cannot, however, take the place of his family, and he cannot be the child they were craving.
Edward’s body heals gradually but it’s his spirit that needs patching up. The only one who does not treat him like an oddity is Shay, the girl next door, who becomes his protector and conduit to the new world he is thrown into as “Miracle Boy.”
Unable to pretend that his life is normal and that his aunt’s home is his own, he takes to sleeping on the floor in Shay’s room. Her friendship, that offers so much succor and demands nothing in return, is the only light at the end of the endless dark tunnel he is thrown into.
A book about such a colossal tragedy could be either depressing or soppy, but Napolitano’s writing has great warmth and gentle touches of humour that makes the reader care about Edward’s life. He is not a “miracle” because he survives the crash and the ensuing trauma, but because he finds compassion in his heart for the suffering of others who reach out to him with hope.
Dear Edward is a remarkable book about an extraordinary character. Read it.
By Ann Napolitano