The Story of a Beautiful Girl

Written by Rachel Simon

This is a story of a young mentally challenged girl who is put away in an institution in the 1960s. When she is older she is raped by one of the orderlies and becomes pregnant. She is due to deliver and escapes the institution and meets a deaf black man. Together they are on the run for 3 days, wherein she gives birth. The three of them find their way to an elderly woman’s home where the girl is captured and returned to the institution. The remainder of the book covers the next 30 years between all four characters. Nothing is explicit and the ending was splendid! Nice read.

Review by Nancy Heckenliable, Kearns High Media Center
Rating: ★★★★½ (4.5 stars)
Interest Level: High School and Adult

Rachel Simon – Website

The Story of a Beautiful Girl
Written by Rachel Simon
Grand Central Publishing
346 pages
Release Date: May 4, 2011
ISBN: 9780446574464 (hardcover)

Publisher’s Description

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.

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