We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
 >   > 
The Story of Beautiful Girl | [Rachel Simon]

The Story of Beautiful Girl

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.
Regular Price:$17.49
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

Audible Editor Reviews

The Story of Beautiful Girl has a strong start with a vivid scene. In 1968, an elderly widowed schoolteacher answers her door to find a deaf man and a woman with a mental disability. She discovers that the woman just gave birth to a baby and the couple escaped from the Pennsylvania State School for the Incurable and Feebleminded. As the man runs and the woman gets carted away by authorities, she manages to whisper to the widow, "Hide her." And thus begins this story of love and determination.

Award-winning narrator Kate Reading gives a compelling performance. Reading has narrated diverse books from science fiction to Jane Austen. Her range is evident in this performance. Reading deftly handles the alternating viewpoints and diverse characters, from an older repressed woman finding a new purpose in her life to a deaf African American male who has known more than his share of pain to a world-weary, compassionate nurse. She tempers some melodramatic writing and keeps the story grounded, allowing listeners to find the novel believable and relatable.

.

Author Rachel Simon is best known for her memoir, Riding the Bus with My Sister. She gives a heartbreaking glimpse inside America's shameful history of institutions with The Story of Beautiful Girl. This is the novel's greatest strength, the revelation of how families and communities failed to care for its most vulnerable members. Listeners will want to stick with the novel to find out what happens to the characters and the school, but the novel does not quite live up to the promising introduction. The writing is overwrought at times and the frequent alternating viewpoints with time jumps become tiresome.

Despites its flaws, The Story of Beautiful Girl is still affecting and will appeal to fans of Kim Edwards' The Memory Keeper's Daughter and Simon's previous work, as well as those interested in the treatment of people with disabilities. Kate Reading's performance moderates weaker aspects and succeeds in making the novel an engaging listen. —Julie MacDonald

Publisher's Summary

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.

©2011 Rachel Simon (P)2011 Hachette Audio

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (321 )
5 star
 (130)
4 star
 (119)
3 star
 (52)
2 star
 (12)
1 star
 (8)
Overall
4.2 (241 )
5 star
 (109)
4 star
 (83)
3 star
 (36)
2 star
 (8)
1 star
 (5)
Story
4.2 (238 )
5 star
 (110)
4 star
 (83)
3 star
 (37)
2 star
 (5)
1 star
 (3)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    June Rowlett, TX, United States 02-09-13
    June Rowlett, TX, United States 02-09-13 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    197
    12
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Absolutely wonderful"
    Which scene was your favorite?

    The vacation at the end


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Felt like crying with joy.


    Any additional comments?

    Very enlightening story about people with disabilities. Great story. Reminds me that there are many good loving people

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A. Christiano Seneca Falls, NY 02-05-13
    A. Christiano Seneca Falls, NY 02-05-13 Member Since 2012

    I get unreasonably attached to fictional characters

    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    68
    13
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Beautiful Story!"

    A great, feel-good story about a young woman with a mental handicap, and her struggles in and out of a "school" for the disabled. A bit of history about the 70's and 80's institutions for the disabled, a bit of a coming of age story, and a lot about love in all it's forms.

    I teared up. A lot.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karren LOGAN, UT, United States 01-31-13
    Karren LOGAN, UT, United States 01-31-13 Member Since 2011
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    25
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Story stays with you"

    I couldn't listen to this book fast enough. While I feel like it was a bit rushed toward the end with trying to tie up loose ends and put things together nicely, I thought the story was great and made me think, long after I was done listening.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lea SHELL LAKE, WI, United States 12-21-12
    Lea SHELL LAKE, WI, United States 12-21-12 Member Since 2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    32
    7
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Beautiful story"
    Where does The Story of Beautiful Girl rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Top ten


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Linney and Kate and Martha I can't pick one. All the characters are lovely.


    What about Kate Reading’s performance did you like?

    Perfect


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes!


    Any additional comments?

    Made me laugh and cry! My sign of a good book!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Placitas, NM, United States 07-13-12
    Robert Placitas, NM, United States 07-13-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    69
    10
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Beautiful is Pretty"

    A bit predictable but well told. The author tells the heart of 2 people who are unable to express it themselves.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MrsDagnabit 09-11-11
    MrsDagnabit 09-11-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    0
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    36
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wonderful Story. Well written."

    Really holds on to you emotionally. Very difficult to put down. A thoroughly enjoyable listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shannon Woodbridge, VA, United States 06-06-11
    Shannon Woodbridge, VA, United States 06-06-11
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    2
    Overall
    "Beautiful Girl is a Beautiful Story"

    The end was predictiable so I only am giving this book 4 stars. But, getting to the end was a wonderful reading experience. I foun myself thinking of the book long after I was done listening to it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    elise 05-18-11
    elise 05-18-11
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    65
    3
    Overall
    "Worthy subject matter but kind of average."

    This is a nice book but the story is a bit cheesy and over emotional. The characters were a bit one dimensional.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    undray orlando, FL, United States 10-25-11
    undray orlando, FL, United States 10-25-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "beautiful girl, beautiful story"

    it was awesome, kept me waiting for the next part, was so upset when it came to an end. i do hope they will consider a part two.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Newman Atlanta, GA, United States 09-05-11
    Newman Atlanta, GA, United States 09-05-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    51
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "One of the best this year"

    Amazing book... couldn't stop listening. Middle grows a tad long, but worth it in the end, for sure.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.