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Download The Story of Beautiful Girl Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Story of Beautiful Girl Audiobook, by Rachel Simon Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (10,747 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Rachel Simon Narrator: Kate Reading Publisher: Hachette Book Group Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2011 ISBN: 9781609411121
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The Story of Beautiful Girl gets right under the skin and into the heart with the story of Lynnie, a young white woman with a developmental disability that hinders her ability to speak, and Homan, an African American deaf man with only his home sign language to guide him. Both were institutionalized in the mid-twentieth century, when people with disabilities were routinely shut off from society and left to languish without attention, forgotten.

One night, Lynnie and her sweetheart, Homan, escape. They find refuge in the farmhouse of the widow Martha, a retired schoolteacher. But the couple is not alone; Lynnie has just borne a child. When the authorities catch up to them, Homan escapes into the darkness and Lynnie is caught. Just before she is gruffly taken back to The School for the Incurable and Feebleminded, she utters two words to Martha: “Hide her.” And so begins the tale of three lives desperate to connect yet kept apart by seemingly insurmountable obstacles.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “In its sweeping breadth and textured detail lies a finely crafted testament to the benevolence and brutality of our humanity…The Story of Beautiful Girl is a beautiful story, indeed.”

    John Grogan, New York Times bestselling author of Marley & Me

  • “Heart-tugging.”

    O, The Oprah Magazine

  • “For those who loved The Help by Kathryn Stockett, this one’s for you.”

    Utah Daily Herald

  • “The most compelling, resonating novel I’ve read in years…A breathtakingly beautiful, yet heart-wrenchingly aching story that, despite its cruelty and humanity, uplifts the reader.”

    Omaha World-Herald

  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • Selected for the May 2011 Indie Next List

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 CAtherine | 2/18/2014

    " I loved this book despite its slightly implausible happy ending. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nicola | 2/15/2014

    " This is a really good book, it is a smashing read, good story and great characters . It is perhaps not the most considered examination of the treatment of the mentally impaired but it makes a point. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Mindy | 2/8/2014

    " I thought this book started strong and ended weak. Recommended to those who are interested in institutional life of the disabled in the 1960's. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sylva Christenson | 1/31/2014

    " excellent story. touching and thought provoking. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Wendy Wowk | 1/27/2014

    " NIce story.....Beautifully written. Perfect for a rainy afternoon.... "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Courtney Taylor | 1/24/2014

    " This book was not very good, in my opinion. Actually, I have stronger sentiments about it that I will keep to myself. The topic was interesting and enlightening, but the story line was completely unrealistic. I caught myself saying "oh come on!" out loud several times while reading this. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jess | 1/8/2014

    " I felt fairly incredulous towards the end, but it was still an enjoyable read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kim | 12/19/2013

    " Ok story but it moved soooo sloooowly......... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rachel | 12/16/2013

    " The writing itself was mediocre, but the heart ache of the characters did not need clarity or fancy prose. Raw cruelty and ignorance need few words. Hope too. Hope grew with each page. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Pamela | 11/13/2013

    " Interesting story, but slow. Writing wasn't stellar. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rebecca | 11/6/2013

    " I did enjoy this book, however found the conclusion very dissatisfying. Maybe I missed something, but there were a few inconsistencies and the revelation of truth to Julia at the end seemed rushed and far shallower than it should have been. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Caryn | 6/27/2013

    " I loved this story! Sweet and sad yet really engaging "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ann | 4/4/2013

    " A sweet, sad, serendipitous book. I felt what the characters felt, mourning the losses and cheering the triumphs as if they were my good friends. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bridget | 12/30/2012

    " What an incredible story about Buddy/Homan and Beautiful Girl/Lynnie. I'm saddened about the atrocities of institution life but happy that people change and grow. A heart warming story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sheri | 11/20/2012

    " Wow. Slow through the middle, but it was all worth it in the end. I didn't have enough kleenex! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Linda | 8/3/2012

    " deinstitutionalization of state schools, changes between 1968 and 2010 in society's treatment of mental retardation "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marie | 6/11/2012

    " I loved this story and its characters. It was at times completely heartbreaking, but always compelling. Spanning 40 years, the story takes us through the lives of two people who meet while locked away in a mental institution and the events that follow their brief escape. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sarah A | 3/30/2012

    " This book is AMAZING! Everyone should read it! There are parts of it that I was absolutely livid others where I was balling my eyes out. It will change your perception of the world I promise! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Andrea | 3/5/2012

    " This was a surprise hit for me as I "just picked it up" and loved every bit of it. Easy read, well written, and very good tying up lose ends. Enjoy "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Debbie Wilson | 1/18/2012

    " Tells the story of two people, one who is mentally disabled, one deaf. They fall in love and escape from an institution. They are caught and separated, this book tells the tale on one man's search for his true love. I was not disappointed, but at times the story rambled. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Julie | 9/10/2011

    " While the premise of this book was rather original, the story ultimately became rather formulaic. However, the book did allow for a great deal of discussion in my book group, which made it more enjoyable than if I had just read it alone. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary Lea | 9/9/2011

    " Suggested by a young friend. Mesmerizing! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jamie | 7/16/2011

    " good book, shows how people even after many years have passed still stay connected. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Michelle | 5/23/2011

    " I loved this book even though it is so sad. It made me laugh and it made me cry. I think this book will be one of my favourites. Having visited Woodlands and hearing the stories from people who worked there, this book makes you realize what life was like for people who lived in institutions. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Pam | 5/22/2011

    " This is a beautiful book! I loved all the story lines and the intimacy in which the author conveys all the characters' thoughts. Beautifully written with a simple appreciation for truth and goodness. Read this one! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Maureen | 5/21/2011

    " This is a book that will not quickly be forgotten. Lynnie, Homan, Martha, and Julia and their story, just incredible. While the ending is a bit contrived, it ties things up fairly nicely. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dawn | 5/20/2011

    " This story totally sucked me in and I read it in just a few days!! I want to suggest this book for bookclub if I can get my hands on enough copies. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Brittany | 5/19/2011

    " beautiful story! a must read! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michelle | 5/19/2011

    " Both book and author worthy of library reservations. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 faeriecrone | 5/17/2011

    " This is a beautiful and moving book. It reminds me of Forrest Gump, but from a woman's point of view ... a woman institutionalized for over twenty years. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nikki | 5/17/2011

    " Very touching story beautifully written. Through the different voices of the novel, you really come to see things through the characters' eyes. Although the ending was a bit "far-fetched", I really enjoyed the read. "

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About the Author
Author Rachel Simon

Rachel Simon is an award-winning author and nationally known public speaker. She is best known for her bestselling memoir Riding The Bus with My Sister, which was adapted for a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie of the same name. Her other works include the New York Times bestseller The Story of a Beautiful Girl, The Writer’s Survival Guide, The Magic Touch, and others. Her books are frequent selections of book clubs and school reading programs around the country. She lives in Wilmington, Delaware.

About the Narrator

Kate Reading is an Audie Award–winning narrator and has received numerous Earphones Awards from AudioFile magazine. She is also a theater actor in the Washington, DC, area and has been a member of the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company since 1987. Her work onstage has been recognized by the Helen Hayes Awards Society, among others. She and her husband live in Hyattsville, Maryland, with their two children.