Friday Morning Bookclub

May 23, 2012

The Story Of Beautiful Girl By Rachel Simon: A Wonderful Audio Book!

I absolutely loved this audio book. Once I started listening to it, I did not want to stop. Fortunately I was listening to it on a playaway so I could take it with me wherever I went.  I listened to it in the car, I listened to it as I cooked. I went to sleep listening to it and when I woke up, after first rewinding it to the last part I remembered before drifting off to sleep, I continued listening to it. The Story of A Beautiful Girl is a beautiful, yet heart wrenching story and a wonderful audio book.

When Martha, a retired school teacher living alone on a farm in rural Pennsylvania hears a knock on her door one rainy night she can’t imagine who it could be. Cautiously she opened the door only to find a young couple, soaking wet. The woman was wrapped in several grey blankets, the man wrapped in large paper business signs. The woman was white, the man black. They look scared and it appears to her as if they were running from something. Against her better judgement, Martha invites the couple in and is surprised to see that the young women is holding a new-born baby. and that the man is deaf. Martha barely has time to find dry clothing for the couple and prepare some food for them when she hears banging on her front door. Officials from the School for the Incurable and Feeble-minded were at her door looking for the two runaways. Fortunately, when the men stormed the house, the baby was quietly sleeping upstairs and the young man manages to escape out the living room window. Before they dragged the young girl off, she manages to whisper two words in Martha’s ear “hide her”.

What will Martha do? Will she honor the wishes of Lynnie, the young mentally challenged girl? And what will happen to Lynnie once she is returned to the “special school”  And Homan, or #42 as he was referred to in the institution, will they find him? How will he survive?  What will become of baby Julia?  Will this family ever be reunited? The Story of Beautiful Girl spans over 40 years, and alternates back and forth between Martha, Lynnie and Homan. We learn how Lynnie, born to a wealthy family and Homan end up in such a horrific place. It gives frightening  insight into how the mentally handicapped were treated in years past. It is a beautiful story of love and survival, and yes I cried a tear or two (something I rarely do while reading). The audio book  was beautifully read by Kate Reading whose voice brought to life the voices of these brave people.

On a scale of 1-5, I would give the audio book, The Story of Beautiful Girl  4 1/2 Omelets.



  1. Thanks for the recommendation. I started reading it in book form this weekend and had a hard time putting it down.

    Comment by Mary Ellen — May 29, 2012 @ 8:29 am | Reply

    • Hi Mary Ellen and Angie! Nice to hear from both of you. Nothing like a good book! Do you have any recommendations?

      Comment by SusanBright — May 30, 2012 @ 9:32 am | Reply

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