Hello, Beautiful by Ann Napolitano

Ann Napolitano swept onto my reading radar a few years ago with her wildly popular novel, DEAR EDWARD. At the time I had to be practically beat over the head with the book to get me to read it. Two co-workers shamed me into reading it. I am so thankful that I did. It was far more than a book about a plane crash….

A few months ago I noticed that Napolitano was coming out with a new novel. I could feel the excitement in my reading mind. I was not disappointed. I’ve been presenting this novel for three months now at my speaking engagements. It’s not a thriller. It’s not a romance. It’s a quiet book filled with wonderful character development. It’s character driven. And these characters will keep you hostage until the last page and beyond.

William Waters is born into a family that shows him no love. His older sister died suddenly when he was just days old. He never knew her. His parents lost their capacity for love. He honestly did not know what he was missing. His love for the game of basketball afforded his escape. He earned an athletic scholarship to Northwestern University in 1978. And this totally new environment showed William a side of life he had been missing. Here he meets Julia Padavano. Julia introduces William to her boisterous family, all six of them. She has three sisters who are each totally different. Sylvie is a romantic book-lover. Cecelia is an aspiring artist. Emeline is Cecelia’s twin but is the quiet and more subdued of the sisters. Julia’s mother and father fall for William immediately.

William and Julia get married shortly after graduation from University. They are very much in love. Meanwhile, each sister is evolving into the adults they soon will be. They are experiencing life in different ways. One of them is coming undone. One of them is questioning who she really is. And one is wondering how to fix the mistake she’s made.

As this story moves forward we slowly begin to understand that maybe, just maybe, William has married the wrong sister.

To say anything more would give too much of the story away. Just know that this is a very important story. One you will quietly remember for a long time.

Now, Oprah has chosen HELLO, BEAUTIFUL for her book club. It’s her 100th pick. She very carefully chose a book that would appeal to a vast group of readers, so she says. Ann Napolitano got the call from Oprah herself five months ago. She was going about the daily business of taking out the trash. Out of the blue, Oprah called to tell her she’d chosen the book. Talk about a life-changing moment. Good for her. But good for all the readers out there that will now be able to read HELLO, BEAUTIFUL. You will want to share the story.

I read my review copy digitally in exchange for an honest opinion. It is a truly remarkable story, and beautifully told. I can’t wait for all of you to read it! Dial Press is the publisher. Thanks so much. And thanks to NetGalley for the digital copy.

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