Friday 3 February 2012

WHSmith Review - The Story Of Beautiful Girl by Rachel Simon

Story Of Beautiful GirlStory Of Beautiful Girl by Rachel Simon

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Blurb From WHSmith

On a stormy night in small-town America, a couple, desperate and soaked to the skin, knock on a stranger's door. When Martha, a retired schoolteacher living a safe and conventional life, answers their knock, her world changes forever. For they are fugitives. Lynnie, a young woman with an intellectual disability, and Homan, a deaf man with only sign language to guide him, have escaped together from The School for the Incurable and Feebleminded, a brutal institution where people with disabilities are left to languish, shuttered away from the world. In a moment of despair, they reveal that Lynnie has a newborn baby. But, moments later, the police bang on the door. Homan escapes into the darkness, Lynnie is captured. But just before she is returned to The School, bound and tied, she utters two words to Martha: "Hide her". And so begins the unforgettable story of Lynnie, Homan, Martha, and baby Julia - lives divided by seemingly insurmountable obstacles, yet drawn together by a secret pact and extraordinary love.

My Review

The story of beautiful girl is more than Lynnie's story. The chapters are split between Homan, Lynnie, Martha and Kate telling the story over the years to present day. It starts with Lynnie and Homan busting out from the school to protect Lynnie's child and the events that unfold from that night.

This book has been rated with people loving it or hating it, I am on the fence to be honest. I loved Lynnie's bravery, her character, strength and what she achieved and becomes despite basically being written off with so many of the residents of the school. I loved reading about her and learning about the school and shocked to find out institutions like this actually existed (who said you learn nothing from fiction!). I loved Homan and Lynnie's love and their innocence and despite everything they experienced, never forgetting each other or Little One.

I hated how the chapters jumped in years and a lot of things were missed and never explained, you just had to fill in the blanks yourself and whilst some readers may like that it annoys me greatly. I felt some of Homan's chapters rambled on about nothing I felt relevant when we could have been reading more about Lynnie, Julia or Martha. I did enjoy reading his stories earlier in his life and the discovery of sign language on both counts though.

Overall the things that annoyed me didn't take away from my enjoyment and it is a great story, hard to read in some places as the bad things are no doubt what were experienced by real people who were kept in these institutions. 3/5 for me and I would read this author again as the style and flow were very easy to follow despite the jumps in years from chapter to chapter.

This book is part of the Richard and Judy Spring titles 2012 and on special offer on at the special price of only £3.99 (half price),

Thanks to WHSmith reviewer program for including me in this years choice and introducing me to this author.

View all my reviews


  1. It sounds like the sort of book that would leave me wondering if I'd missed something.

  2. Lovely review Lainy. I felt similar to you about this one.


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