Hello Beautiful is a novel that explores the themes of love, family, and loyalty. The story follows the life of William Waters, a young man who grew up in a troubled home and finds solace in the company of the Padavano family, particularly Julia and her three sisters. The novel is an homage to Louisa May Alcott’s classic novel Little Women, and it portrays the same themes of sisterhood, family, and love.
Book review of Hello Beautiful
One of the things that stood out to me about this novel was the sentence structure. Napolitano creates a rhythmic pattern that increases reading enjoyment, making the book very easy to read. I also loved how William, one of the main characters, was constructed. His pages felt vacuous, as if I were leaving a part of myself with him on every page. His lens for seeing his world and interacting with it is so telling and unique.
The emotions stirred within me while reading this book were intense. I found myself angry with some of the fictional characters’ choices and disagreeing with them long after I had finished reading the novel. While this was a five-star read for me, I do want to note how critical the writing is. The characters are beautifully imperfect, and the narrative is severe in correction, which can lead to a lack of empathy towards the characters and their situation.
Napolitano delves deep into almost everyone in this family, to show us that the least normal thing on earth is normalcy. Using alternating POVs, she tells their story almost chronologically, with some small overlaps when the focus changes. I appreciated that the months and years were in the chapter headings, which helped keep me oriented as the story jumped back and forth between the different characters.
The only downside of this book for me was that some of the middle sections felt a bit slow, and I would have liked to have seen more of Charlie’s perspective. However, when Alice was old enough to have her own POV in the book, the pace ramped up again, and my enjoyment of the book returned to what it was when I first started reading.
Admittedly, Napolitano’s writing style is a bit on the bland side for my taste, and there aren’t a whole lot of descriptions. However, she makes up for this by spreading little aspects of the characters throughout the book that the reader discovers almost by accident. These details may seem insignificant at the time, but later they mean a great deal, adding depth and complexity to the characters.
Overall, Hello Beautiful is an intelligent and heartfelt family saga that I would recommend to fans of the genre. While it may not be for everyone, it is a solid four out of five stars for me. While it took a little time for me to get into the story, I found myself deeply invested in the lives of these characters by the end. This is a novel that will stay with me for a long time, and I look forward to reading more from this author in the future.
|Publisher : The Dial Press (March 14, 2023)|
Language : English
Hardcover : 400 pages
ISBN-10 : 0593243730
ISBN-13 : 978-0593243732
Item Weight : 1.35 pounds
Dimensions : 6.5 x 1.27 x 9.55 inches