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The Story of Beautiful Girl by Rachel Simon

Recommended by Colleen

Colleen’s Synopsis:

This book covers 40 years in the lives of a developmentally handicapped white girl and a deaf black man with secrets that change their lives and the lives of people they touch. Raised in an institution and forgotten by her family Lynnie leads a hopeless life of drudgery and fear until she falls in love with Homan. The couple escapes from the “school” long enough for Lynnie to give birth to her daughter and hide her in a farmhouse with a widow. Lynnie is taken back to the school but Homan escapes and is presumed dead.

She Says:

I thought this was a wonderful story. Starting in the late 1960s and going forward 40 years the author weaves together the stories of Lynnie, Homan, Martha and the baby as they each try to do what they think is best. It is a very good portrait of institutional life before the sweeping reforms of the 1970s. The author bases Lynnie on her own sister and Homan on a young man who was shuffled around from place to place his entire life.