The Story of Beautiful Girl by Rachel Simon

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Synopsis

It is 1968. Lynnie, a young white woman with a developmental disability, and Homan, an African American deaf man, are locked away in an institution, the School for the Incurable and Feebleminded, and have been left to languish, forgotten. Deeply in love, they escape, and find refuge in the farmhouse of Martha, a retired schoolteacher and widow. But the couple is not alone-Lynnie has just given birth to a baby girl. When the authorities catch up to them that same night, Homan escapes into the darkness, and Lynnie is caught. But before she is forced back into the institution, she whispers two words to Martha: "Hide her." And so begins the 40-year epic journey of Lynnie, Homan, Martha, and baby Julia-lives divided by seemingly insurmountable obstacles, yet drawn together by a secret pact and extraordinary love.
 

About Rachel Simon

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Rachel Simon is the author of a novel, The Magic Touch; a collection of stories, Little Nightmares, Little Dreams; and The Writer's Survival Guide. She teaches in the Creative Writing Program at Bryn Mawr College.
 
Published May 4, 2011 by Grand Central Publishing. 362 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, History. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Story of Beautiful Girl

Kirkus Reviews

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Now living independently, Lynnie still longs for Homan and Julia.

May 04 2011 | Read Full Review of The Story of Beautiful Girl

Publishers Weekly

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In this enthralling love story, Lynnie, a young white developmentally disabled woman with limited speech, and Homan, a deaf African-American man, meet at the Pennsylvania State School for the Incurable and Feebleminded in the late 1960s.

Feb 21 2011 | Read Full Review of The Story of Beautiful Girl

BC Books

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Simon’s awareness of the institutional life forms a backbone for the book, it is her insight into the indomitable spirit of the human soul that infuses The Story of Beautiful Girl with brilliance and honesty.

May 28 2011 | Read Full Review of The Story of Beautiful Girl

Book Reporter

As their lives continue in parallel, as their memories of that stolen time together and their hopes for their absent daughter continue to flourish, Homan and Lynnie prove to the world --- and to themselves --- exactly what they're capable of.

May 24 2011 | Read Full Review of The Story of Beautiful Girl

Entertainment Weekly

On a howling night in 1968, a deaf black man and a seemingly mute young white woman clutching a baby escape from the School for the Incurable and Feebleminded and seek refuge in a widow's cabin.

May 04 2011 | Read Full Review of The Story of Beautiful Girl

Christian Science Monitor

Here, she lays out the hideous, hidden histories of institutions like the one where Lynnie's family dumped her, where the indignities range from vile conditions in which dozens of people are expected to share one toothbrush to rape and murder.

May 16 2011 | Read Full Review of The Story of Beautiful Girl

The Bookbag

Summary: Martha, Lynnie and Homan's lives become bound together forever by Lynnie's new born baby one rainy night in 1968.

Nov 15 2011 | Read Full Review of The Story of Beautiful Girl

Washington Independent Review of Books

In a dramatic scene, Homan escapes into the woods while Lynnie, in a straitjacket, is forcibly returned to the mental hospital from which she and Homan had fled.

Jun 15 2011 | Read Full Review of The Story of Beautiful Girl

Seattle PI

Simon swiftly begins the novel by taking you into the lives of Martha (The Widow), Lynnie (Beautiful Girl) and Homan (Number Forty-Two).

Nov 24 2011 | Read Full Review of The Story of Beautiful Girl

Seattle PI

Simon's awareness of the institutional life forms a backbone for the book, it is her insight into the indomitable spirit of the human soul that infuses The Story of Beautiful Girl with brilliance and honesty.

May 28 2011 | Read Full Review of The Story of Beautiful Girl

Lincoln Journal Star

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Jun 26 2011 | Read Full Review of The Story of Beautiful Girl

MostlyFiction Book Reviews

Lynnie Goldberg is a beautiful, mentally challenged, resident at the notorious Pennsylvania State School for the Incurable and Feebleminded…and Number 42 – aka Homan – a deaf black man who is her one true friend.

Aug 28 2011 | Read Full Review of The Story of Beautiful Girl

BookRack

There is so much more to the story, how Martha gets on with the baby, how Lynnie lives without the baby, how Homan finds his way in the world outside the institute and what future awaits them all.

Jul 29 2011 | Read Full Review of The Story of Beautiful Girl

Kepler's

And so begins the 40-year epic journey of Lynnie, Homan, Martha, and baby Julia, separated by seemingly insurmountable difficulties, yet drawn together by extraordinary love and a secret pact.

| Read Full Review of The Story of Beautiful Girl

The Christian Century

These days it’s a rare novel that addresses disturbing social issues without flinching and treats religious faith as a force for good, without denying the complexity of either.

Apr 23 2012 | Read Full Review of The Story of Beautiful Girl

Psychology Today

The Story of a Beautiful Girl is a love story unlike any before.

Jul 24 2011 | Read Full Review of The Story of Beautiful Girl

Reader Rating for The Story of Beautiful Girl
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