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The Story of Beautiful Girl

Simon, Rachel (Book - 2011 )
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
The Story of Beautiful Girl
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Item Details

"A novel about a woman who can't speak, a man who is deaf, and a widow who finds herself suddenly caring for a newborn baby"--Provided by publisher.
Authors: Simon, Rachel, 1959-
Title: The story of beautiful girl
Publisher: New York : Grand Central Pub., 2011.
Edition: 1st ed.
Characteristics: 346 p. ;,24 cm.
Summary: "A novel about a woman who can't speak, a man who is deaf, and a widow who finds herself suddenly caring for a newborn baby"--Provided by publisher.
Local Note: 15 16 18 35 53 74 80 97 102 109 112 118 122 133 148 149 150 151 152 153 156 167 172 173 182 193 198 203 210 211 222 226 231 232 233 234 235 236 237 242 243 244 261 264 276
ISBN: 9780446574464
Statement of Responsibility: Rachel Simon
Subject Headings: People with disabilities Fiction.
Topical Term: People with disabilities
LCCN: 2010030910
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Comment by: cwaite Apr 27, 2012

I love this book... beautifully written and a heart wrenching tale about two people who love each other, but have little means of finding each other after they are separated... I LOVED the widow in this book, so strong. I also loved reading through a person with special needs eyes. It's extremely... Read More »


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Feb 20, 2014
  • Cdnbookworm rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

This book was written to highlight the sad history of state homes for developmentally delayed adults and those with disabilities. The author's sister Beth had an intellectual disability and that made Simon interested in the history of society's treatment of these individuals.
This novel begins in 1968 when retired schoolteacher Martha has a knock on the door of her remote farmhouse on a rainy night. She opens the door to Lynnie and Homan who have escaped from the Pennsylvania State School for the Incurable and Feebleminded, as it was known at that time. They also have with them Lynnie's newborn baby. Martha takes them in, clothes and feeds them, but unfortunately the authorities aren't far behind and are soon also knocking on Martha's door. They take Lynnie back to the School, but Homan makes a successful run for it, and the authorities seem to have no knowledge of the baby's existence. Lynnie's please to Martha to "hide her" rings of desperation and Martha struggles with the right thing to do.
Martha was an inspiring teacher and she has a number of former students to come back to visit her. Now, she is the one going to them, for advice, for assistance, and for shelter as she follows Lynnie's instruction, and raises the child she has quickly grown to love.
Lynnie resumes her old life back at the school, and one of the staff Kate, that has been close to her, discovers her situation regarding the baby and struggles with whether to inform others or not. With Lynnie's confiding pictures, Kate follows the trail to Martha's house and finds support to keep the secret for both Lynnie and the baby's sake.
Homan, meanwhile is on the run once again. Misunderstood and prejudiced against the young deaf man struggles to understand the world he lives in and find a place in it.
Neither Homan nor Lynnie forget the other and both hope to one day find a way back to each other.
Of course over the course of time, society's role in the lives of these marginalized people changes as well as the maltreatment of them becomes more widely known and changes are made to help them rather than just hide them from view.
A moving tale of love, societal change, and perseverance.

Good story. A bit slow and drawn out at times.

Aug 27, 2012
  • scrubble4 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Extraordinary writing. The story engages you and keeps you until the end. It is a happy ending for a set of lives that have experienced endless challenge. But that is not the best part, the best part is the extraordinary writing on every page that kept me revelling in the pictures, sents, feelings the author created.

I now want to read everything Rachel Simon has written and I feel so fortunate to have found another author to savor.

Aug 21, 2012
  • muffin0321 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

I agree with all the comments. Ending was a little too pat for me. Hard to believe that after 25 some years all three came together and so quickly. But a good story and I did enjoy it.

Aug 05, 2012
  • JCLMichelleMB rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

too many coincidences and some difficult to believe characters but very interesting setting and issues. eye-opening for me.

Jul 21, 2012
  • Sisters4 rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

This was a novel, so things did work out for a good ending. The type of endings I enjoy! It was a difficult subject but beautifully written.

Jul 09, 2012
  • smc01 rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

The story line of this book seemed compelling but I was disappointed to find it was completely implausible. I kept asking myself whether I should keep reading, and did finish it, but didn't believe the ending. Some characters are well drawn, such as Martha and Lynnie, and the story line is interesting. I just wish it could have been told more realistically. Overall, a disappointment.

Jun 12, 2012
  • modestgoddess rated this: 1.5 stars out of 5.

I didn't love this. It was okay, but was, unfortunately, your typical American-has-to-have-a-happy-ending novel. Really stretched credibility. Did provide an interesting window onto an unfortunate past, but the characters' personal lives were very difficult to believe. One example: at one point, the deaf-mute, Homan, escapes from a church that allegedly heals people's physical ailments and handicaps, with a young man in a wheelchair. They run from the front of the church, up the aisle through lots and lots of people who miraculously get out of their way, out to the parking lot - and somehow, Homan gets the young man, in his wheelchair, loaded into his special vehicle and gets in himself and the young man indicates where the keys are - conveniently, in a purse sitting on the front seat - and away they go, before people come flooding out of the church to stop them. Sorry, don't buy it - no way could he have done all that before someone caught up to them and stopped them. There were a few odd moments here and there, like this one, that just tripped me right up, and I really resent that in a book. I want to be able to keep reading and believing, not stopping and thinking, "No way could that ever have happened."

May 05, 2012
  • mellyrose89 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I absolutely loved this book! Well written and emotionally powerful.

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