Saturday, May 21, 2011

Book Review: The Story of Beautiful Girl by Rachel Simon

Title: The Story of Beautiful Girl
Author: Rachel Simon
Genre: Historical Fiction
Subject: Institutions for Disabled
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Release date: May 4th, 2011
Length: 352 pages
I got this book: From the publisher to review through NetGalley.

From Goodreads:
"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."

Personal opinion:
This story seemed really interesting but in reality I had trouble getting through it. The story is told from 4 different people (5, if you count the last chapter). Lynnie tells about life in the institution where she lives. Homan is still on the run and his story is about his efforts to come back to Lynnie after they separated. Martha's chapters are about raising baby Julia. The last narrator is Kate who is a caretaker of Lynnie in the institution and the only one who knows about the baby Lynnie left behind. I liked to read the chapters about Lynnie, Kate and Martha. They all did the best they could in the circumstances and it is shocking to read how disabled people were treated not all too long ago. It was too bad that at some point the story started to make huge time leaps and while at the beginning of each chapter, the year was stated, it just felt going all too fast. I think that partly caused I became distant to the characters at some point. I didn't care at all about Homans story. I tried it a few chapters but eventually I started skipping his chapters all together, because frankly I didn't care enough to continue. And it turned out that in the end I was able to put everything perfectly together, so I didn't have the feeling I missed out. I did care enough about the other characters to finish the book, but I didn't enjoy it as much as I thought I would.

It was okay.

Purchase links: Amazon
Other reviews: None yet.
If you have reviewed this book and want your link here, please leave a comment with the link, and I will add it :)

1 comment:

  1. Thats too bad that it was just ok for you - I haven't read it but from the description it sounds like it has the potential to be a great read!