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by Ann Napolitano
Best friends and sisters, the four Padvano girls are thought of as inseparable by everyone in their close-knit Chicago neighbourhood. Julia, the eldest, is a planner. Sylvie, the dreamer, is happiest with her nose in a book and imagines a life for herself other than the expected path of wife and mother. Cecelia and Emmeline, the twins, are the artist and the caregiver. From childhood, the four sisters complete each other. But when Julia falls in love with William Walters, their lives change. As William falls into darkness, it is Sylvie, not Julie, who steps in to help.
Spanning decades and generations, Hello Beautiful captures what it means to be a family – the joy and tragedy, the deep trust and devastating betrayals. Split apart by stubbornness and heartbreak, the Padavano family scatters across the country. Will the love and loyalty that once rooted them be strong enough to draw them back together?
Oprah and Obama are both raving about it. I enjoyed it but not my book of the month!
‘Hello Beautiful will make you weep buckets because you come to care so deeply about the characters and their fates’ Washington Post
‘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, set in late-20th century Chicago, will prompt you to slow down as you read, never wanting the book to end’ Oprah Quarterly
‘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 Cowley Heller, The Paper Palace