Selected as Oprah’s 100th Book Club Pick!
From the New York Times bestselling author of Dear Edward comes an emotionally layered and engrossing family story that asks: Can love make a broken person whole?
William Waters grew up in a house silenced by tragedy, where his parents could hardly bear to look at him, much less love him—so he’s relieved when his skill on the basketball court earns him a scholarship to college, far away from his childhood home. He soon meets Julia Padavano, a spirited and ambitious young woman who surprises William with her appreciation of his steadiness.
With Julia comes her family; she is inseparable from her three younger sisters: Sylvie, a dreamer, is happiest with her nose in a book and imagines a future different from the expected path of wife and mother; Cecelia is an artist; and Emeline patiently takes care of all of them. Happily, the Padavanos fold Julia’s new boyfriend into their loving, chaotic household.
But when darkness from William’s past surfaces, it jeopardizes not only Julia’s carefully orchestrated plans for their future, but the sisters’ unshakeable loyalty to one another. The result is a catastrophic family rift that changes their lives for generations. Will the love that once rooted them be strong enough to draw them back together when it matters most?
Vibrating with tenderness, Hello Beautiful is a gorgeous, profoundly moving portrait of what’s possible when we choose to love someone not in spite of who they are, but because of it.
“Radiant and brilliantly crafted . . . Napolitano’s [work] resists the easy satisfactions of the sentimental and never settles for simple answers to emotional predicaments faced by her characters.”—The New York Times Book Review
“Another tender tearjerker . . . Napolitano chronicles life’s highs and lows with aching precision. In her piercingly tender new novel, Hello Beautiful, best-selling author Ann Napolitano catalogues the multitudes of love and hurt that families contain, and lays bare their powers to both damage and heal. . . . Hello Beautiful will make you weep buckets because you come to care so deeply about the characters and their fates. . . . [Napolitano] compels us to contemplate the complex tapestry of family love that can, despite grief and loss, still knit us together. She helps us see ourselves—and each other—whole.”—The Washington Post
“This powerfully affecting novel illustrates [that] love and luck don’t always intertwine.”—People
“This sumptuous family saga is one of those rare novels whose singular characters are so beautifully rendered, it’s as if they’re your best friends, and you’re grateful to be in their orbit. Napolitano’s homage to Little Women, albeit set in late-20th century Chicago, will prompt you to slow down as you read, never wanting the book to end. When it does, prepare for tears.”—Oprah Quarterly
“Hello Beautiful is the work of a great author at the height of her powers. Equally immersive, emotional, and brilliantly crafted, this is an early contender for best novel of the year.”—J. Ryan Stradal, New York Times bestselling author of Kitchens of the Great Midwest
“Ann Napolitano’s new novel, Hello Beautiful, is exactly that: beautiful, perceptive, wistful. A story of family and friendship, of how the people we are bound to can also set us free. I loved it.”—Miranda Heller, New York Times bestselling author of The Paper Palace
“Like great jazz, Hello Beautiful takes a melody and transforms it. This is a richly-woven story about family, but it’s also a unique take on Little Women. There are no heroes or villains here, only people—flawed and loving and striving like the rest of us. Generosity is the word that comes to mind when I reflect on this gorgeous novel.”—Allegra Goodman, New York Times bestselling author of The Cookbook Collector and Sam
“A rich, complex family saga, Hello Beautiful is a portrait of love and grief in equal measure. Napolitano’s prose is so lovely, so keenly perceptive, that it held me captive until I finished. A lot of people are going to love this story.”—Mary Beth Keane, New York Times bestselling author of Ask Again, Yes
“Hello Beautiful is a profoundly moving and propulsive novel about the deepest connections of family and love, trauma and healing. In intricately elegant prose, Ann Napolitano explores both the cost and power of loyalty and honesty. This is a book to treasure and share with friends and loved ones.”—Angie Kim, bestselling author of Miracle Creek
“In Hello Beautiful, Ann Napolitano treats readers to that rare pairing in fiction: intelligence and tenderness. And what a treat that is! This is a story about family and sisters and storytelling, but it’s also an examination of identity and the consequences of doing love badly and how love can be redeemed. I was moved by the Padavano family’s journey through all of that. Read this book! You’ll be glad you did.”—Therese Anne Fowler, New York Times bestselling author of It All Comes Down to This