yvette tramel's Reviews > The Story of Beautiful Girl

The Story of Beautiful Girl by Rachel Simon
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's review
Feb 27, 2012

really liked it

This story begins with Lynnie, Homan, Martha, and a newborn baby. Lynnie is mentally handicapped and Homan is deaf. They were both locked away in the School for the Incurable and Feebleminded until they escaped and found shelter at Martha's house. The authorities quickly catch Lynnie while Homan disappears into the woods. Martha is left with Lynnie's newborn baby, and a request to "hide her". And then begins the life long journey for the three adults and the little baby.

When I was young, I had a distant family member who'd been institutionalized for depression so I was exposed to stories about the harsh, abusive, and experimental treatment she went through. When I read the excerpt on this novel, I was immediately curious.

I loved the book and it definitely kept me up late, reading it over a weekend. For me, it was great narrative about how society and the medical field treated people with mental and physical disabilities in the 20th century. Throw in a love story and suspense and I had a page-turner. There's definitely a little unrealistic aspects, such as our 70 year old Martha who just happened to have several young student friends who were willing to help her conceal a child, and raise it. And without spoiling anything, the culmination of the ending was a bit rough. But I guess that's what makes it a novel.
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