Customer Reviews for

The Story of Beautiful Girl

Average Rating 4
( 236 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(118)

4 Star

(50)

3 Star

(33)

2 Star

(14)

1 Star

(21)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

46 out of 47 people found this review helpful.

A beautiful story about a beautiful girl

I blame Rachel Simon. I blame her for the bags under my eyes and the toothpicks holding up my eyelids. And, it's all because of this book, The Story of Beautiful Girl. 3 nights this week it's had me just one more paging myself into a 2:30 am bedtime. Y'all, I have to te...
I blame Rachel Simon. I blame her for the bags under my eyes and the toothpicks holding up my eyelids. And, it's all because of this book, The Story of Beautiful Girl. 3 nights this week it's had me just one more paging myself into a 2:30 am bedtime. Y'all, I have to tell you about this book. Editorial reviews describe this book as an enthralling or unlikely love story but it is so much more. In fact, by calling this book a love story, I think the editors do it a disservice and turn away a bunch of possible (read younger males) readers. Sure, The Story of Beautiful Girl tells the story of Lynnie and Homan, two people in love who tried to run away from the Pennsylvania State School for the Incurable and Feebleminded. But, their love story isn't what drives the book. The reader recognizes that despite Lynnie's and Homan's disabilities they have the same human needs and desires that each of us do. Yes, they need freedom, respect, beauty, shelter, education, and even love. With this recognition of a very basic kinship with Lynnie and Homan, the reader begins to care about these characters whose surfaces seem so different from us. Ms. Simon's ability to create characters that we identify with and care about allows her to enthrall her readers with a decades spanning story that at times horrifies with it's unflinching look at the mistreatment of the disabled. But, The Story of Beautiful Girl does not only horrify. It also delights and thrills the reader as you watch Lynnie and Homan grown and learn and become fully realized members of the big, wide world we all live in. The Story of Beautiful Girl is a rare gem of a book and is well worth having in your library. Do yourself a huge favor and pick up a copy as soon as you can.

posted by dragondreamermom on May 6, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

16 out of 70 people found this review helpful.

BOYCOTT THIS PRICE!!!

Everyone, please start boycotting the prices greedy bookstores and greedier publishers are charging for nookbooks. B&N told me when I bought my nook last year that e-book prices would be much cheaper. This store needs to stand by what it advertised a year ago.

posted by Bandito on May 3, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 23, 2013

    Compelling story, beautifully written

    The Story of Beautiful Girl is a sadly realistic tale of the people who lived at state institutions in the 60's. (I taught in one in the 70's and so can relate to the settings.) But it is also the story of love, non-verbal language, and humans rising to any situation. One of the subplots involves an older woman finds herself with a baby to raise and keep protected from state officials. One involves a person who is deaf and cannot read or communicate. The last involves Beautiful Girl herself and her journey of safely negotiating the conditions at the State Institution.
    Terrible situations can bring out the worst or the best in us, no matter the supposed degree of intelligence.
    Rachel Simon tells the story so well that I could not stop reading and I will read it over again and again.

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  • Posted July 13, 2012

    Presentation was Lacking

    This work started out well–-an abandoned baby given to an older woman, a missing man, and a woman taken against her will. Definitely an intriguing set up. Once the stakes were set, I had a difficult time staying involved. Starting with Martha, the elderly lady: she tended to ramble and jump back and forth between the past and present in ways which were jarring. Her general purpose seemed to be to show the baby’s location. Though Martha encountered quite a few people, I cared very little for the side characters in her story as the mentions were brief and typically mundane.

    Of all the characters, I enjoyed Lynnie the most. Though she had mental deficiencies, she seemed strong in social skills and managed to communicate in unconventional ways. I loved her strength and the compassion she showed to others… even those whom deserved little.

    Homan, I thought, had the most interesting story. His theme was out of the frying pan, into the fire. However, I had a difficult time connecting with him. He had humongous gaps in his education, which seemed preventable considering the connections he had prior to going on the run. I guess it was just hard for me to understand how someone with family and friends who loved him would not know simple things, like how to spend money. Thankfully for him, he had quite a few lucky breaks. Add that to his resourcefulness, and he managed to stay afloat well enough.

    In some ways, the story had a spiritual undertone in which the characters believed in the big picture (someone in the sky watching over them or having a greater plan), but the book never really made the actual connection. It was almost as if the author wanted to plant a seed in the readers’ mind but failed to go all the way. It would have been nice for the author to make a commitment in this area–either present a spiritual message or not, rather than a lukewarm message with no spiritual resolution.

    Really, this work had a lot of potential. In many ways, it reminded me of the literature I read when I was younger: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Of Mice and Men, Flowers for Algenon. Not that the writing style was similar, but more on the lines of realism… where suffering happens because that’s just the way life is. Unfortunately, the presentation was lacking.

    I'd rate this in the very high 2s or maybe a solid 3 out of 5 stars.

    I received this from the publisher in exchange for a review.

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  • Posted July 5, 2012

    Sweetly Engaging

    I've become dismayed with the trending length of digital books (most coming in at 200-250 pages) more like a short story in my opinion and really difficult to pull off a good novel in that amount of pages.

    However, in The Story of a Beautiful Girl" Rachel Simon pulls the extraordinary feat of creating an excellent character driven story in a few short pages. The character development in this novel is what made it enjoyable for me. The plot line is good, but it's the characters who will win you over.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2012

    enjoyed the story, altho a little predictable

    enjoyed the story, altho a little predictable

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  • Posted June 17, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Hard To Keep Going

    While the idea was good, it was lacking in many ways. The storyline was long and drawn out in places that it didn't need to be, and totally skipped the parts that you wanted to know more about. After all the good reviews, I really expected more. In my opinion, it earned a spot at the bottom of my list of summer reads.

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  • Posted September 8, 2011

    It was okay

    It started good but dragged towards the middle. I kept skipping pages to see what was going to happen.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 10, 2011

    Interesting but not dynamic

    Written at low level English; you will not need to look up any words. Was difficult to follow at times, bounced back and forth in time.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 21, 2011

    Good not great

    Enjoyed the chacters sweet story, rather predictable

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2011

    Good ideas, the writing style is boring

    This story should have been amazing, because the author had an astonishing cast of characters (a deaf black man and a mentally retarded girl) but the writing just dragged on and was really sometimes mediocre. Even though the author was trying to make the writing interesting by telling the story in the point of view of the disabled characters, it fell flat and i ended up just skimming through some of it because it became so laborious.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted May 21, 2011

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