“We’re part of the sky, and the rocks in your mother’s garden, and that old man who sleeps by the train station. We’re all interconnected, and when you see that, you see how beautiful life is. Your mother and sisters don’t have that awareness. Not yet, anyway. They believe they’re contained in their bodies, in the biographical facts of their lives.” ― Ann Napolitano, Hello Beautiful
This is a novel that explores themes of family, love, trauma, and healing. The book is about the connections between family and love, and how loyalty and honesty can cost and power.
William Waters was raised in a tragically silent home where his parents could barely bear to look at him, much less love him. When he meets Julia Padavano in his first year of college, it's as if the world has suddenly come to life for him. Since she and her three sisters are inseparable, Julia also brings her family with her. Sylvie, the family's dreamer, is happiest with her nose in a book; Cecelia is an independent artist; and Emeline patiently looks after them all. William finds new happiness with the Padavanos; there is loving anarchy all the time in their home.
Then, however, shadows from William's past come to light, compromising not only Julia's meticulous plans for their future but also the sisters' unwavering love for one another. A devastating family rift results, altering their lives for future generations. Will the ties that previously bound them still be strong enough to bring them together when it counts?
Some say the book is a moving and propulsive work that mirrors real life and inspires readers to address challenges in their own relationships. Others say the book is a beautiful story about family bonds and love. But ultimately, it is an elegant homage to Louisa May Alcott's timeless classic Little Women, paints a powerfully touching picture of what is possible when we decide to love someone not despite who they are but because of it.