By Ann Napolitano
** Publication Date 14 January 2020**
Edward is a twelve year old boy traveling to California with his mother Jane, father Bruce and fifteen year old brother Jordan. The family is moving to accommodate Jane’s new job as a screenwriter. The family has always lived in New York City. We start the story with everyone trudging through the Newark airport, security, and Jordan’s newfound independence. They then board the plane, Jane in first class and the rest of the family in the back.
There are brief descriptions of some of the other passengers and crew that we will meet throughout the story. Each has their own reasons for traveling to Los Angeles; some to start new lives, some for work, some for vacation. At the end of the first chapter, we move to evening of the same day when the NTSB is at the crash site of Trinity Airlines flight 2977 trying to make sense of the disaster. One person has survived this horrible crash, and that is twelve year old Edward.
Now known as the “miracle boy”, we follow Edward’s story as he tries to piece back together his life. In addition and alternating with Edward’s story, we follow the time that the plane was in the air learning more about those other passengers and crew, and how that Airbus A321 ended up in pieces on the ground of a remote part of Colorado.
Napolitano carefully unravels this story in bits to allow us to try to absorb what tragedy occurred on that June day in 2013. She feeds us bits of the time on the plane over the course of the next five years of Edward’s life. It is not an easy road for Edward, nor the passengers as the plane heads to its demise. Edward’s story is fascinating though, and teaches us that in every tragedy there is a chance for hope and rebirth.
The book tends to be a slower read as the story unfolds. There is so much to absorb regarding Edward’s feelings. It’s not an easy read, and there are times you wonder how this boy even survives. It is beautifully written, giving us characters surrounding Edward who have their own feelings to resolve. This book is a keeper. One that made me stop and think and be thankful for what I have.
4.5 stars on Goodreads