By: Ann Napolitano
Publisher: Random House
Publication Date: 05/28/2024
My Rating: TBR (ARC)
A tender and perceptive novel about three generations of an Irish American family jarred into crisis by an unexpected pregnancy—from the bestselling author of Hello Beautiful
“This stunning . . . exquisite, skillfully written gem addresses serious issues–e.g., guilt vs. loyalty, the past vs. the present—[but] remains hopeful and includes ample doses of humor and wit.”—Library Journal (starred review)
No one in my mother’s family ever talks about anything that can be categorized as unpleasant or as having to do with emotions. . . .
This spellbinding debut by bestselling author Ann Napolitano is a poignant reminder of how connected we are to those we love, even when we cannot find the words to say it. The unforgettable story of three generations of a large Irish Catholic family, Within Arms Reach is another rich and deeply satisfying novel from the author who captured the many dimensions of grief in Dear Edward and the unbreakable bonds of sisterhood in Hello Beautiful.
“In Napolitano’s wonderful first novel, deftly told from six points of view, a New Jersey family bears witness to the cycle of life. The matriarch of the Irish-American McLaughlin clan, Catharine, is living in a care facility, her ‘whole life [in] one room.’ On the other end of the spectrum, Catharine’s unmarried granddaughter, Gracie, is pregnant by a man she doesn’t love–Napolitano gracefully and honestly charts the tensions as the various family members come together.”
“Napolitano writes with beauty and power, skillfully bringing her characters within arms’s reach until your heart is taken and this family becomes your own. This novel is a must-read for any book group.”
—Hannah Tinti, author of Animal Crackers
“Napolitano has created a fascinating family in crisis. . . . Successfully skirting melodrama, [she] gives us a family drama that says even the most contentious can find a bit of happiness.”
“As if we are friends she brought home for the holidays, Ann Napolitano plops us onto the living room sofa of a big family with big problems and gives us an intimate view of what goes on behind closed doors. Within Arm’s Reach is a deft, vivacious novel whose author compels us to stay seated until the very last word.”
—Helen Ellis, author of Eating the Cheshire Cat
“A fresh and exceptionally strong family portrait.”
About the Author
Photo by Jake Chessum
Ann Napolitano’s novel, Hello Beautiful, was published by Dial Press in March 2023 and was an instant New York Times bestseller and the 100th Oprah Book Club pick. The novel will be published by Viking Penguin in the United Kingdom in July 2023, and currently has twenty-nine international publishers.
Dear Edward was published by Dial Press in January 2020 and was an instant New York Times bestseller, a Read with Jenna selection, and was released on February 3rd as an Apple TV+ series starring Connie Britton. The novel currently has twenty-seven international publishers. It was named one of the best books of 2020 by The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, Real Simple, Fast Company, Women’s World, Parade, LibraryReads and Amazon.
Napolitano is also the author of the novels A Good Hard Look and Within Arm’s Reach. She was the Associate Editor of One Story literary magazine from 2014-2020. She received an MFA from New York University; she has taught fiction writing for Brooklyn College’s MFA program, New York University’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies and for Gotham Writers’ Workshop. In November 2019, Ann was long-listed for the Simpson/Joyce Carol Oates Literary Prize.
A Good Hard Look was published in the United States by Penguin Press. The novel appeared on the Southern Independent bestseller list, on one of NPR’s Best of 2011 lists, and was also an Indie Next Pick and an Okra Pick.
Her first novel, Within Arm’s Reach, was published in the United States by Crown Publishing, in the United Kingdom by Time Warner Books/Virago, in Spain by Ediciones Salamandra, and in Germany by Verlagsgruppe Droemer Weltbild. The novel was adapted and staged as a theatrical production in New York City in 2014.
Ann lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two children. WEBSITE
DEAR EDWARD NOW AN APPLE TV+ SERIES
HELLO BEAUTIFUL OPRAH’S 100TH BOOK CLUB PICK!
WITHIN ARM'S REACH Coming May 2024 in Paperback new cover!