The Story of Beautiful Girl (Paperback)
The author writes with great empathy since she herself has a
developmentally challenged adult sister. This intrigued me because of
the proximity and recent history of our own Traverse City State
Hospital. Lynnie and Homan escape together for a few brief days but
those days are enough to allow them to hide a tremendous secret, a baby
girl. Simon approaches this difficult story with great sensitivity and
follows the lives of these characters through forty years. I recommend
this and would also suggest Admissions by Jennie Sowle (a best-selling book at Horizon in 2010).
May 2011 Indie Next List
“One stormy evening in the late 1960s, Martha, a retired school teacher living alone in her farmhouse, opens her door to find a young couple from the nearby State School for the Incurable and Feeble Minded on her doorstep carrying a very new baby. Martha has time to feed and clothe them, and they have time to locate a hidden space in the attic in which to hide the baby before the authorities appear. The man escapes, and as the young woman is led away, she leans into Martha and says, 'Hide her.' To her own astonishment, Martha agrees to keep the baby and in that moment readers give up their hearts to these four remarkable characters and the story of the next 40 years of their lives.”
— Jeanne Regentin, Between the Covers, Harbor Springs, MI
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 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. Simon is also the author of the bestselling novel The Story of Beautiful Girl.
"In its sweeping breadth and textured detail lies a finely crafted testament to the benevolence and brutality of our humanity....The Story of Beautiful Girl is a beautiful story, indeed."—John Grogan, New York Times bestselling author of Marley & Me
"For those who loved The Help by Kathryn Stockett, this one's for you."—The Utah Daily Herald
"The most compelling, resonating novel I've read in years....A breathtakingly beautiful, yet heart-wrenchingly aching story that, despite its cruelty and humanity, uplifts the reader."—Omaha World-Herald
"Heart-tugging."—O, The Oprah Magazine