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Saturday, December 10, 2011

"The Story of Beautiful Girl" by Rachel Simon~A Favorite Book of 2011

Published by:  Grand Central Publishing/Hachette Publishing Group
Pages:  340
Genre: Adult Fiction, General Fiction

The Story in a Nutshell :

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.

The Dame's Take:

This is one of my favorite books of 2011, and possibly one of the books that most impacted my thinking this year.

A beautiful novel of friendship and survival under the most dire of circumstances, it's a book that is both heart-wrenching and challenging of everything we may have thought we knew about our country's past dealings in the mental health system.

I was just captured from the first sentences of the book. The characters are magnificent in their rawness and their abilities to rise above what seem like insurmountable difficulties. Heros and heroines grabbed at my heart.

This is the story of two people who escape a horrendous mental institution in hopes of making a decent life for their unborn child and themselves. It's the story of how they finally overcome their tragedies and find salvation through the Herculean efforts and personal sacrifices of those who take up their battles for them...the battle of the powerless and the innocent.

I reviewed this book earlier this year with minute detail, but wanted to bring it to your attention again as a favorite. 

The author is an advocate for the mentally ill and their care. An amazing woman whose work bears knowing about, and whose writing is stellar.

I promise you you'll be moved and changed by this book.

Highly recommend it to everyone I know.

5 shining stars of hope




I need to get this in print. I started it on audio and the narrator just didn't work for me.

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