The Story of Beautiful Girl by Rachel Simon is a very touching story written to make you consider what it would have been like to be physically handicapped in the 1960's . The book follows the life of two residents of the School for the Incurable and Feebleminded, and the people they have contact with inside and outside the institution. The lives of these two people, one an African American deaf male (Homan) and the other, a Jewish female mute (Lynnie), will touch your heart and make you really think about the injustices and isolation society inflicts upon anyone who may be considered different in any way. The author researched her subject well, and she has a sister with an intellectual disability, so the progression of events and all of the characters are very believable.
I have to tell a little of the story line. Homan and Lynnie escape one night from the school, and Lynnie has just had a baby that no one knows about. Lynnie leaves the baby with an elderly woman she does not know, and then, Lynnie is found and taken back to the institution. Homan escapes and manages to live outside the institution with the help of several different people. The elderly woman, Martha, decides to raise the baby and not tell anyone where she came from. Over the forty years the book covers, the actions, thoughts, and emotions of the characters are very plausible and keep the reader interested until the very end of the book.
This is a novel based on facts, but Simon's other book, Riding the Bus With My Sister, is a memoir about her sister, Beth. Both books are very informative and the author's writing style is easy to read.
Recommended by Kristi Burr