Amplifying Authors: Oprah Announces 100th Book Club Pick - Arts & Culture

Oprah Winfrey says a great book enhances your life experience and the 100th book does just that and you come away more connected to life.

Oprah Daily shares that Oprah’s 100th book club selection “takes us on a journey through generations of love and heartbreak, fractured trust and forgiveness.”

Oprah Winfrey says, “The whole reason I started a book club was to uplift and inspire people.” 

Winfrey adds, “A great book not only enhances your life experience but can also change you. Our 100th selection does just that—you cannot read it without opening up, forgiving, seeing yourself and the relationships we weave in a new way. You come away more connected to life.”

Here’s what she has to say about Hello Beautiful, the 100th Book Club pick: “I’m telling you, once you start, you won’t want it to end…and be prepared for tears.”

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Oprah Daily continues that it is inspired by the classic Little Women, and that Hello Beautiful’s story follows four inseparable sisters who live in Pilsen, a working-class neighborhood of ChicagoIt adds, “Sylvie is the bookworm, Cecelia is an artist, and Emeline is the patient caretaker of them all. When Julia, the eldest sister, marries William Waters while in university, a new era for the Padavanos begins—including weekly family dinners and, soon, a baby. But when a trauma from William’s past resurfaces, it jeopardizes not only the couple’s carefully orchestrated plans but the sisters’ unshakable devotion to one another.”

Hello Beautiful author Ann Napolitano shares with Oprah Daily, “Oprah calling me on the phone, out of the blue, to tell me that she loved my novel and had decided to select it for her book club was so unbelievably exciting that I’m pretty sure I’m still in shock.”  

Napolitano adds, “She has done so much to amplify authors and their work. The writers and books she has featured in her club reads like a list of my literary heroes, and to be included among them is an unbelievable honor.”

In an Instagram post, Napolitano writes:

In an Instagram post, Napolitano writes: “In April 2020, a few months after the publication of my novel Dear Edward, I started a new book. Part of the reason I write is to make sense of myself and the world, and that felt necessary: we were housebound due to the pandemic, I was trying to make my two sons feel safe even though I didn’t, and my father had just died. I’ve never written so much so quickly—I was grateful to find some comfort, and even glimmers of hope, inside the fictional world that became Hello Beautiful. I was deeply invested in a sad little boy named William Waters who dribbled a basketball for company, and the strong, passionate, inseparable Padavano sisters who burst into the story and William’s life. I began to feel, while writing, that I could heal both myself and William if I kept those vibrant sisters—Julia, Sylvie, Cecelia and Emeline—in my sightline. 

There are emotional notes of Dear Edward in this novel: grief, kindness, the resiliency of the human spirit, our deep human need for connection. In Dear Edward, a young Edward stepped out of a physical wreckage, and in Hello Beautiful, a young William steps out of an emotional one. William is born into a family shattered by tragedy, and only when he’s surrounded by the loving Padavano family does he understand how much he missed growing up, and how profoundly his parents’ sorrow has shaped him.”

Oprah Daily invites readers to join Napolitano together with Winfrey and four of Oprah’s Book Club readers for a special book discussion of Hello Beautiful. Have a peek at the reading schedule on Instagram via @oprahsbookclub. You can also read the excerpt here.

Banner photos via Instagram @annnapolitano and @oprahsbookclub.

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