Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme that was started by @Lauren’s Page Turners but is now currently being hosted by Emily @ Budget Tales Book Blog. This meme is quite easy to follow – just randomly pick a book from your to-be-read list and give the reasons why you want to read it. It is that simple.

This week’s book:

Hello Beautiful by Ann Napolitano

Blurb from Goodreads

From the New York Times bestselling author of Dear Edward comes 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.

Why I Want To Read It

Whew. It is Monday again. The weekend really does feel very short; oh well, it is just two days after all. Anyway, I hope you all had a great weekend. I hope the weekend provided at least a semblance of reprieve so that you will be able to make it through another day, oh hell, week. I know that many of you, just like me, are still feeling a little sluggish. I guess this is just going to be wishful thinking but who knows, one day we will have a three-day weekend. With this, I hope that you started your work on the right note. I hope that the in the coming week, you will be able to accomplish everything you set out to achieve. I hope that your week will be productive. However, if you are not up to it, I hope you spend the week resting and recovering. More importantly, I hope everyone is doing well, in body, mind, and spirit.

As has been customary I am kickstarting the blogging week with a fresh Goodreads Monday update. Whew. I can’t believe I have already published 167 Goodreads Monday updates. I am not stopping for sure. HAHA. This is because this activity has allowed me to get a glimpse of the books I have been adding to my (perpetually) growing reading list. Anyway, after immersing in the works of British and Irish literature last February, I decided to extend this journey after I realized that I still have quite a long list of unread works from this part of the literary world. However, for this Goodreads Monday update, I am not going to feature a work of a British or Irish writer who is part of my reading list. Rather, I am featuring Ann Napolitano’s Hello Beautiful.

It was while searching for books to include in my 2023 Top 10 Books I Look Forward To List that I first encountered Ann Napolitano. Prior to this year, I have never come across her or any of her works. Or I might have but they haven’t stuck to my memory. After all, there are way too many books out there I can barely keep up. Anyway, her latest novel, Hello Beautiful was repeatedly listed as a book to look forward to this year. It didn’t take much for me to add the book to my own list. Besides, I always look forward to the prospect of reading the work of an unfamiliar writer.

But what prompted me to feature the book for this Goodreads Monday update? Earlier today, I came across a review of the book by The Guardian. I didn’t read the entire piece because I didn’t want to be spoiled. However, I read the opening paragraph. I have to say it caught my attention for it gave a huge hint. It seems that the book is a modern reinterpretation of a literary classic, and a popular and revered one at that: Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women. Interestingly, the story is tied up by an unexpected element: basketball. This piques my interest even more as I am interested to see how Napolitano will integrate these seemingly unrelated elements together.

The interpretation of literary classics can go either way: catastrophic or at best, at par with the classic being reinterpreted. If the new book does not add value to the classic then it can go downhill, like in the case of P.D. James’ Death Comes to Pemberley which was inspired by Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Executed properly, it can become a contemporary, like in the case of Barbara Kingsolver’s Demon Copperhead, a modern take on Charles Dickens’s David Copperfield. The book is to be released later this month, on March 28. I sure hope I get to obtain a copy of the book. How about you fellow reader? How was your Monday? What books have you added to your reading list? Do drop it in the comment box. For now, happy Monday and, as always, happy reading!