At the end of the night that would change everything, the widow stood on her porch and watched as the young woman was marched down her front drive and shoved into the sedan. The girl did not fight back, bound and tied as she was, nor did she cry out into the chill autumn rain, so surely the doctor and his attendants thought they had won. They did not know, as the car doors slammed shut, the engine came on, and the driver steered them down the muddy hill toward the road, that the widow and the girl in the backseat had just defied them right under their noses.

What a compelling beginning. It just made me want to read more. This was such a great book, but also such as sad book. It deals mainly with three people: two people who try to escape from a mental asylum and the widow who helps them and takes in the woman’s baby daughter. The woman can’t speak and the man is deaf, but they’re not “crazy” or “retarded,” like the people running the asylum seem to think. They have feelings and emotions too. All three of the main characters have flashbacks, remembrances of events past. I loved the flowing style of Rachel Simon, and this was such a wonderful book. It made me want to cry at times. It was really a bit too sad. Actually, the deaf man in the story is based upon a real person who was committed to a mental asylum at the age of 15. The book did have a satisfying ending, though.

Read The Story of Beautiful Girl:

  • if you enjoy sad stories
  • if you are interested in stories about cruel, unjust situations, specifically about mental asylums
  • if you’re looking for a great emotional novel

340 pages, 4.5 stars.

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