Thursday, September 21, 2023

Friday Focus: Bookish Memes to Start the Weekend




It's Friday . . . time to share book excerpts with:

  • Book Beginnings on Fridays hosted by Rose City Reader, where bloggers share the first sentence or more of a current read, as well as initial thoughts about the sentence(s), impressions of the book, or anything else that the opening inspires.  
  • The Friday 56 hosted by Freda's Voice, where you grab a book and turn to page 56 (or 56% of an eBook), find one or more interesting sentences (no spoilers), and post them.
  • First Line Friday hosted by Reading Is My SuperPower


Today I'm featuring a current read, Hello Beautiful by Ann Napolitano. The excerpts shared are from a hardcover version borrowed from the library.




Book Beginning/First Line:  William, February 1960--December 1978

For the first six days of William Waters's life, he was not an only child.


Page 56:  Julia found herself strangely unprepared for their honeymoon, which took place at a resort on the shore of Lake Michigan. She'd spent so much time and energy planning the wedding that she hadn't given much thought to her and William's trip.


My thoughts:  I am thoroughly enjoying this immersive novel with its fascinating characters, complex family relationships, and rich story lines.


From GoodReads:  An emotionally layered and engrossing story of a family that asks: Can love make a broken person whole?

William Waters grew up in a house silenced by tragedy, where his parents could hardly bear to look at him, much less love him. So it’s a relief when his skill on the basketball court earns him a scholarship to college, far away from his childhood home. He soon meets Julia Padavano, a spirited and ambitious young woman who surprises William with her appreciation of his quiet steadiness. With Julia comes her family; she is inseparable from her three younger sisters: Sylvie, the dreamer, is happiest with her nose in a book and imagines a future different from the expected path of wife and mother; Cecelia, the family’s artist; and Emeline, who patiently takes care of all of them. Happily, the Padavanos fold Julia’s new boyfriend into their loving, chaotic household.

But then darkness from William’s past surfaces, jeopardizing not only Julia’s carefully orchestrated plans for their future, but the sisters’ unshakeable loyalty to one another. The result is a catastrophic family rift that changes their lives for generations. Will the loyalty that once rooted them be strong enough to draw them back together when it matters most?

Vibrating with tenderness,
Hello Beautiful is a gorgeous, profoundly moving portrait of what’s possible when we choose to love someone not in spite of who they are, but because of it.





This Friday Focus: Bookish Memes to Start the Weekend post was originally composed and/or compiled and published by Catherine for the blog, It cannot be republished without attribution.




  1. I just finished this book in the audio format. It was narrated extremely slowly so I had to bump up my listening speed to 1.3 and the middle section still dragged. I liked the way it wrapped up, however.

  2. I haven't heard too much about this one and hope you are enjoying it, Catherine. I hope you have a great week!