Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.


The Story of Beautiful Girl (2011)

by Rachel Simon

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,0207717,084 (3.91)38
A novel about a woman who can't speak, a man who is deaf, and a widow who finds herself suddenly caring for a newborn baby.
  1. 40
    The Light Between Oceans by M. L. Stedman (Richardson76)
    Richardson76: So far this year these 2 books have been my favorite. Both are written well with wonderful and unusual story lines. I think both would make great book club books. Highly recommend both and solidify why I read in the first place.

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 38 mentions

English (75)  Dutch (1)  All languages (76)
Showing 1-5 of 75 (next | show all)
This was a great, heart-wrenching read. The way people with mental disabilities were treated "back in the day" was deplorable. Made me research some of the places where they were kept.
( )
  Jen-Lynn | Aug 1, 2022 |
Beautiful girl was placed in the " School for the Incurable and Feebleminded" by her family and forgotten; as were most of the other residents. (1968) This is a story of heartbreak but also resilience as well as some good luck. It was a good story even if a bit sappy at the end. ( )
  Tess_W | Oct 2, 2021 |
The changing character perspectives from chapter to chapter made this a hard one to get into for me, but in the end I thought it was very good. Interesting, heartbreaking glimpse into the world of mid-20th century institutionalization of the developmentally disabled, and a good story too. ( )
  CaitlinMcC | Jul 11, 2021 |
This is my favorite book this year so far. It is the story of the love between two people, both the victims of circumstances they are unable to control. Coming to their rescue is a seventy year old woman who will show you that there are good people in the world. The story is so heartbreaking at times but is such a great read. ( )
  myers3 | Oct 25, 2019 |
Lynnie had lived in an institution since she was a young girl when she ran away with her deaf boyfriend, Homan. Lynnie had been raped by one of the guards and was pregnant. She was petrified of having her child grow up in a place like “the school.” When Lynnie, Homan, and the baby appeared on the doorstep of an older woman named Martha, they were scared and running for their lives.

Just as fast as these characters’ stories merged, they were separated again. The rest of the novel concerns them trying to get back together again. Lynnie was captured and taken back to the school, Homan ran off into the woods and was presumed dead, Martha and the baby were left unexpectedly together.

Lynnie grew older in the institution which was eventually shut down. She was reunited with her sister and fought for self-determination. Homan travelled all over the country, living in various places with various people, trying to get back to Lynnie but not really sure how. Martha also travelled from place to place to hide the baby from authorities.

Most of the novel is quite sad and filled with tragedy, especially for Lynnie. She does find a sort of peace and happiness, but longed for Homan and her baby. In the end, the story wraps up sweetly with just a hint of ambiguity to keep it interesting.
  Carlie | Aug 9, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 75 (next | show all)
Simon, who wrote so sensitively about disability in her memoir Riding the Bus With My Sister, often skirts schmaltz in The Story of Beautiful Girl, but she manages to steer her reader toward the truly stirring.
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Telling our stories is holy work.  --The Reverend Nancy Lane, Ph.D.
For those who were put away.
First words
At the end of the night that would change everything, the widow stood on her porch and watched as the young woman was marched down her front drive and shoved into the sedan.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

A novel about a woman who can't speak, a man who is deaf, and a widow who finds herself suddenly caring for a newborn baby.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary

Popular covers

Quick Links


Average: (3.91)
0.5 2
1 1
2 12
2.5 8
3 54
3.5 21
4 91
4.5 13
5 80

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 177,311,117 books! | Top bar: Always visible