My Little Pocketbooks: Review: The Story of Beautiful Girl   

Monday, May 7, 2012

Review: The Story of Beautiful Girl

The Story of Beautiful Girl
Author: Rachel Simon
Genre: Fiction
Release Date:  May 4, 2011
Hardcover: 352 pages
Source:  Purchased from Border's Bookstore (when they were closing I think)
Buy the Book: Amazon

Book 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. 
Review 
This book was a good read.  Rachel Simon produced a book that tells a complete story from beginning to end.  It is what stand alone novels are all about.  This story of Lynnie and her brave escape with her love Homan (a deaf black man) from the institution they were put in was well told and I am glad I read it.  I loved how the story is told by everyone that was touched by Lynnie in her escape.  Each person brought something to the story that help build it and gave a better understanding of what happened.  There wasn't a wasted moment in the book.  Which I find to be a rare thing with books lately.  In the book Homan's intentions are always pure and good.  But somewhere along the way he gets off track, mixed up with the people that have another agenda and motives.  The author makes the story's timeline pass smoothly so when you finish you are completing 40 years of these peoples lives.  I love Homan's gentle Ben-like character and felt so bad for him when he didn't get hooked up with the right people.  I just wanted to jump into the book so many times and help him out. 
The only thing that prevents me from "Loving It!" (all five stars) would be the end.  It just seems as if it came together too quickly and with all the pieces fell into place way to easy after such a long battle that lasted decades.  I love the end but the way we get there is too quick and easy.  It was only the last 20 pages or less but it changed the pace and love of the book that much.
Rachel Simon is a wonderful storyteller.  I love how she tells Lynnies story in her voice and Homan's story in his.  It's almost like there were two authors writing the book.  Excellent work!      
Recommendation
I would recommend this book to readers of all ages.
Challenges
This book is number 4 in my 2012 Dusty Bookshelf Challenge
This book is number 16 in my 2012 Good Reads Challenge
This book is number 8 in my 2012 TBR Reading Pile

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