“One stormy evening in the late 1960s, Martha, a retired school teacher living alone in her farmhouse, opens her door to find a young couple from the nearby State School for the Incurable and Feeble Minded on her doorstep carrying a very new baby. Martha has time to feed and clothe them, and they have time to locate a hidden space in the attic in which to hide the baby before the authorities appear. The man escapes, and as the young woman is led away, she leans into Martha and says, 'Hide her.' To her own astonishment, Martha agrees to keep the baby and in that moment readers give up their hearts to these four remarkable characters and the story of the next 40 years of their lives.”
— Jeanne Regentin, Between the Covers, Harbor Springs, MI
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. The authories catch up to them; Homan escapes into the darkness and Lynnie is caught. But 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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