Aug 032011

The Story of Beautiful Girl by Rachel Simon
Rating: 4/5
Source: Review copy from Grand Central Publishing via NetGalley
Links: Amazon, Goodreads, Author’s website

This is the story of Lynnie, Homan, Martha, and a beautiful little baby. Lynnie is mentally handicapped and Homan is deaf. They were both locked away in an institution until they escaped and found 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”. So begins the life long journey for the three adults and the little baby.

This was a seriously sad story. I found it very somber and weighty. This led to it feeling very long. It was interesting, but felt so depressing.

Afterwards, while trying to decide what I wanted to say about it, I realized it had an overwhelming theme of love. Lynnie loved her unborn baby so much she was willing to risk anything to get it out of the institution. Homan loved Lynnie so much he was willing to do anything to get her out, and after being separated from her, spent his whole life trying to get back to her. Martha had such compassion and sympathy for Lynnie and Homan that she felt her duty was to care for the child left with her. She didn’t just care for her, but grew to love her so much that she changed her whole life to protect her.

This is definitely a story that needs to be recalled and dissected after reading. If I hadn’t done that, I would have thought the story sad and depressing and just left it at that. Looking back, it is sad, but there is a positive theme, and powerful message.

This would make a great book club story, since it really invites discussion and analyzing. This is the type of book that makes me glad I write reviews. Doing so made me see the book in an entirely new light.

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