Hello Beautiful

This was recommended to me by so many friends (online and IRL). When I did my best books of 2023 list, so many people were like “But what about Hello Beautiful.” I ordered it and put everything else aside. For the first 2/3 of the book, I was very meh. I talked about this on stories and a lot of you felt this way (I guess it’s a polarizing book!). But then I loved the last third, and because of that, ended up being really glad that I kept going. It’s slow paced and I don’t really enjoy the author’s writing style. But it is similar to Tom Lake in the way that it does capture close family relationships so well. As someone with two sisters, I liked the book just because of that. William Walters was not loved by his parents. The only thing that really got him through school was his love of basketball. Once he gets to college at Northwestern, he meets bright, ambitious Julia Padavano. Julia welcomes him into her family.. loving parents and her three ultra close sisters. There is bookish Sylvie, artist Cecelia, and loving Emeline. For the first time in his life, William begins to understand what family looks like. He and Julia marry immediately after college but then, darkness strikes. What happens in the following year pushes the sisters apart. Can the girls ever find there way back to each other? It is an homage to Little Woman and while it was slow at points, I did love the story and think it’s worth reading.