The Story of Beautiful Girl

The Story of Beautiful Girl

by Rachel Simon
4.0 241

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Overview

The Story of Beautiful Girl by Rachel Simon

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780446574457
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication date: 02/13/2012
Pages: 358
Sales rank: 232,879
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Rachel Simon is an award-winning author and nationally known public speaker. She is best known for her critically acclaimed, bestselling memoir Riding The Bus with My Sister, which was adapted for a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie of the same name. The book has garnered numerous awards, and is a frequent and much beloved selection of many book clubs, school reading programs, and city-wide reads throughout the country.

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The Story of Beautiful Girl 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 241 reviews.
dragondreamermom More than 1 year ago
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.
Lynie More than 1 year ago
THE STORY OF BEAUTIFUL GIRL is the tale of Lynnie Goldberg and John Doe Number 42, also known as Homan. It's 1968 and both are residents of The Pennsylvania State School for the Incurable and Feebleminded. Lynnie is developmentally disabled and Homan is deaf, but despite their differences and finding their own way to communicate, they fall in love. The story begins on a dark and rainy night after Lynnie and Homan escaped from the institution. They seek refuge at the remote farm of Martha Zimmer, a retired school teacher. After hiding the infant Lynnie has just given birth to, Homan is able to escape while Lynnie is returned to the school by the authorities, but not before beseeching the childless Martha to keep the newborn safe. Not knowing Lynnie's name, Homan is determined to find a way back to The Beautiful Girl. Confined to the state school, Lynnie lives through the changes wrought by the media exposure of the deplorable conditions of these state run institutions for the handicapped in the '70s. She never gives up on the hope of being reunited with both Homan and her child. Devoting her life to baby Julia, Martha has left the farm and relied on her former students to provide her with shelter so that the school authorities cannot find the baby. Not even knowing the names of the two people who showed up on her doorstep, she nevertheless prays that some day she'll be able to reunite Julia with her parents. Martha becomes the catalyst for change in these institutions, echoing the real life changes brought about by Geraldo Rivera's expose of the horrendous conditions at The Willowbrook School in 1972. Ms. Simon's sweeping love story spans nearly fifty years. Her tender handling of her protagonists reflects her care and concern for her own intellectually handicapped sister. Nicely written, I enjoyed THE STORY OF BEAUTIFUL GIRL. Lynn Kimmerle
Sheree Tempel More than 1 year ago
I was hooked within the first couple of pages. The story never slowed down. Be sure to read the author's comments at the end of the book. Makes you realize how much of the story is based on real events and your heart will break all over again for Holman.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the best story I have read in years. I have not been able to stop thinking about it. I could have read the story line for ever.
Heavensent1 More than 1 year ago
The Story Of Beautiful Girl is an enthralling love story with many obstacles in the way thwarting the lovers from being together for decades. The story begins with Lynnie a young and beautiful disabled white woman with limited speech abilities and Homan, a deaf-mute African American man, who have escaped from the Pennsylvania State School of the Incurable and Feebleminded in the last 1960's. Lynnie is pregnant and it is imperative to the two that the baby not be born under those circumstances. The night the baby is born, its windy and rainy and the two stumble upon a farmhouse of retired grade-school teacher, Martha Zimmer. Hiding in her attic, they are discovered, Lynnie is captured and returned to the school, Homan escapes and the baby is left behind in the hopes that Martha will look after her. Over the course of the next 30 years we share their ups and their downs, their worries and their happiness. Lynnie never gives up her love of Homan and knows one day he will return for her. Martha agrees to look after the baby and spends the remaining years in contast state of fear that the secret will be found out and the baby will removed from her care. Enlisting her past students, each of them plays a role in hiding Martha and the baby til the day that Lynnie or Homan return. Homan travels about the country with no way of knowing where to find Lynnie, he doesn't even know her name, but as fate would have it, he is lead to the one place they shared in common, Lynnie's love of lighthouses. I just loved this book and couldn't put it down, I had to know if Lynnie ever got to see her baby and if she and Homan were ever reunited. The conditions of the psychiatric hospitals in the 60's and 70's were deplorable and I couldn't imagine how anyone could stand by as long as they did before the abuse was reported and the hospitals took a huge overhaul. I could imagine seeing this tale recapitulated to the big screen, it would make a great movie! I think the only thing that could've made the book better, was giving the reader more insight to the kinds of abuse occurred in the state run hospitals. As well, I was a tad disappointed in the ending, I wanted to see and feel the reunion and let the emotions that had built up during the read be released and there wasn't any, it was left to the imagination of the reader and this reader wanted release. All in all, the book is excellent and I recommend it to anyone who enjoys a love story with insurmountable odds.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In 1968 at the Pennsylvania State School for the Incurable and Feebleminded, developmentally disabled white female Lynnie and deaf African-American male Homan meet. They become friends although the abusive staff keeps the "inmates" apart and the pair has a communication issue. Lynnie and Homan escape, which enables her to give birth outside the brutal institution. Knowing the school will hunt them down they leave their newborn with caring Widow Martha Zimmer who provided them with shelter on her farm. The school catches Lynnie, but Homan flees. For the next four decades, the two though separate thrive on their short time together while Martha decides what to do with the baby entrusted in her care. This is a passionate character driven cautionary tale at a time when leaders propose cuts to health care reminding readers of how society locked away in institutions those with disorders as a cheap way to ignore those who need some encouragement and support to be independent. Readers will not have a dry eye as Homan named for homing pigeons and Lynnie expect to one day meet again and see their offspring and the kind widow who took them and their baby in. Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I bought this book to read at the beach and finished it in 3 days. Great writing, wonderful characters and an amazing story. It is a love story woven through darkness. I think the book is about hope, faith, love and perserverence. Check it out!
lioness2001 More than 1 year ago
Please tell us how you liked the book!!!!!! I wish these reviews would stop being a soapbox for pricing grievances.
RLVR More than 1 year ago
I could not put this book down, and read it in two nights. Rachel Simon has a unique writing style that made me WANT to read each and every word because the beauty would not have been caught had I skipped a word or two. It was a beautiful story about determination, love, hope, struggles, and rising above it all. I will tell everyone about this book. Excellent read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I looked this book up to see if the reviews supported my desire to buy the book after hearing about it. Most of the reviews were helpful but what puzzles me is why would you use the area to "Review" a book to complain about the price of a Nook Book. As anything else we consider buying, if it's too expensive for you then don't buy it. It's really quite simple. This is really not the place to complain about the price of something, it's to provide a review of books to help other readers get a feel for the book. And besides complaining about the price is not going to make the seller lower it. I look forward to buying this book because of the people who did Rate & Review it! Thanks
JanetS9 More than 1 year ago
I think the premise of the book was nice, but it was so boring, and the ending was so impossible, sometimes I just wonder if an author just wants to finish the book more than having a creative ending.
FelineDO More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. It was beautifully written. I found myself with a smile on my face after reading certain chapters. It was sad at times but other times it wasn't. It's a book that you will definitely want to share with and pass along to others.
tori_g More than 1 year ago
This is a book I wouldn't have looked twice at having seen the cover cover. However, I purchased the same book with a different cover. It's sad to admit, but true. So don't turn your nose up if you think it looks cheesy. One word to describe this novel is tender. It was a great story and I thought it had a beautiful plot. It is narrated by 5 or so of the characters, one of which is deaf, can't read, write, or speak. I couldn't help but feel his helplessness and frustration. One of the characters has a very low IQ and her chapters were easily my favorite. It's a different twist to see the world through these individual's lives. I used to be quite involved with the Special Olympics in my area. I completely forgot my involvement with the program until I read this book and remembered all the wonderful people I used to work with, and I'm excited to get involved again. This novel will hopefully change your outlook on people with special needs and encourage you to make sure they are treated with respect.
madp More than 1 year ago
This book was beautifully written with the simplicity of the characters. As a mother of a disabled daughter it pulled at my heartstrings and had me counting my blessings that institutions have closed. This book values the humblest of humanity with warmth and compassion. A must read for those who are educated and not yet educated into the world of the disabled.
panamacyndi More than 1 year ago
One of the best books I've read...excellently and beautifully written. The characters really came to life and the author expertly drew you in to the story. Please read this book.
lhutch More than 1 year ago
If you don't read any other book, PLEASE read this one. It's, without a doubt, one of the most well written, touching and almost lyrical books that I've ever had the pleasure of reading. When I first read the over-view, I was a little put off, thinking the story would be depressing. I chose though, to read the sample and was hooked immediately by the quality of the story as it's narrated. The story evolves around a couple who have a baby, are unable to keep it and entrust the infant to an elderly, retired teacher. The couple's lives are complicated to say the least and they are separated for many years. The teacher raises the child and this loving act is ultimately what affects all of the story's characters and leads to an ending that literally had me in tears and knowing that this story and its messages will always be remembered.
NookieSH More than 1 year ago
Why is the real book 1.99 and the nook book 9.99, it just makes no sense!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I could not put it down.i read it in less than 24 hours.it was so well written and heartfelt.i almost never give any book five stars. I highly reccomend for any audience.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was picked for our book club. While the beginning started off great, it seemed to drag and then the ending was too rushed; confusing. It makes you stop and think, would you do what Martha did?
bjsCA More than 1 year ago
This is a beautiful story about a very sad part of human history. I would never have picked it up if it hadn't been on the reading list for my book club. This is a story about the way mental institutions used to be run. The story did have some cruel and unsavory characters, but the main focus of the story is on the good people and the eventual positive outcome for some of the victims of that institutional era. It was informative about a very sad situation, but the author managed to create a beautiful story about an ugly time. I loved this book and am so glad I read it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago