Hello Beautiful by Ann Napolitano
“Stop thinking about who you were when you were living the wrong life, William. You’re built for the life you’re living now…You can’t fail when you’re doing what you love.” (p. 249)
Ann Napolitano grabbed my attention with Dear Edward, and through Hello Beautiful, she has ensured that I will pick up anything with her name on it for the rest of my life. I came out of Hello Beautiful with an entirely new perspective on my world and the people I share it with, as well as a much deeper appreciation for the relationships I hold. Napolitano is a talented writer who has birthed a story that will resonate with millions worldwide. I, myself, may never recover from this marvelous novel.
Can love make a broken person whole?
In Hello Beautiful, we follow William Waters and the Padavano sisters as they navigate their lives from childhood to adulthood and beyond. William grew up in a silent house, raised by parents who showed him little attention and no love. Only when he starts to play basketball with the neighborhood kids does William feel any sense of belonging. After gaining a scholarship for his skill on the basketball court, William leaves his absent family behind and is able to start building a future. But William needs to be made aware of who he is and what he wants from this life.
Enter, Julia Padavano.
Julia is an ambitious and serious young woman who locks onto William the moment they meet. After their first conversation, Julia has already decided on their future together, and William is more than happy to let her lead the way. With Julia comes her three younger sisters.
Sylvie is the dreamer.
Happiest with her nose in a book, Sylvie is obsessed with adventure and intense romantic love. She refuses to settle for anything less than her wildest dreams. Cecelia is the artist. Profoundly emotional and unique in every way, Cecelia is destined for a life of beauty. Emeline is the mother of the group. Always concerned with how she can best care for those around her, Emeline is endlessly patient and considers herself the quiet sister.
If you’re a fan of Little Women, you might have already caught on to a few similarities.
Hello Beautiful is not a retelling of this well-loved classic but a creative homage to Louisa May Alcott’s spectacular characters. The sisters embody more than just their most obvious March sister counterparts, creating a more complex and rewarding arc for these women.
The Padavano sisters happily fold William into their little family filled with love and pandemonium.
Things seem to have fallen perfectly into place for a time, just as Julia has planned. But as darkness from William’s past begins to seep outward, the sister’s unshakeable loyalty to each other is tested, and bonds are broken.
Hello Beautiful is an extremely character-driven novel with an engaging plot full of emotional themes.
Generational healing, honesty, bravery, and the power of love in all its forms, this story leaves colors brighter and hearts more sweet. I predict that Hello Beautiful will be at the top of many lists this year, and I implore you to read it with a friend or group of loved ones.
This is a story to be shared.
- 2oz Lyre’s Italian Orange (replace with Aperol to make it boozy)
- 3oz Orange Juice
- Lyre’s Classico or Champagne
- Orange slice (optional)
- Add Lyre’s Italian Orange into a highball glass and top with ice.
- Add Orange juice.
- Top with Lyre’s Classico.
- Garnish with an orange slice.