The Story of Beautiful Girl
One night two residents of the School for the Incurable and Feebleminded escape. The year is 1968, and conditions in the institution are deplorable. It is a place where families can send the unwanted. However, even a developmentally disabled white woman with speech difficulties and a deaf African American have sense enough to recognize their wretched existence, and so they flee. They need shelter, as Lynnie has just given birth to a baby girl. When she sees a lighthouse, she knows she has found safety. It points the way to the home of Martha, a retired teacher. Shortly after she explains their circumstances, the authorities from the school surround them. Homan slips away into the woods, while Lynnie slips the baby into Martha’s arms and whispers, “Hide her.” Of the three who escape the school that night, only one returns.
This story takes place during a period of history when institutions were the norm. The nation had not been exposed to the horrors that emerged on television by Geraldo Rivera in the ’70s. As this story portrays, a journalist exposed the abuse, neglect and squalid conditions in these living tombs for the disabled. It is hard to fathom their existence. Inspired by factual events, Rachel Simon shares this warm and emotionally moving story of a woman whose life is a lamentable struggle. The author makes this a beguiling story that evokes strong passions. Through her strong characters, the author captures the power of love and the indomitable determination to live. Readers won’t forget Lynnie. Her embraceable spirit will make you want to hug her.
Simon also reminds us all about protecting the basic human rights of everyone. The Story of Beautiful Girl is globally relevant, with promise of high praise from all who take heed to read it.