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Customer Review

20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars What have I missed?, 4 Jun 2011
This review is from: The Story of Beautiful Girl (Paperback)
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This novel tells the story of Lynnie and Homan - a woman with mental disability and her deaf boyfriend - who escape from the special "school" in which they have been incarcerated. They turn up on the doorstep of Martha, a widow and retired school teacher, and hand over to her Lynnie's new-born daughter for safekeeping before going into hiding. The novel follows Lynnie, Homan, Martha and Lynnie's daughter over a period of forty years.

I won't comment further on the plot to avoid spoilers. Suffice it to say that for this reader at least, the story, which started promisingly, was dull and plodding, the pace was slow, and the story skipped from one protagonist to another with no apparent pattern. I realise that the author, who has a disabled sister, is writing about something that she knows, and yet I (who incidentally also have a handicapped sister) found her attempts to get inside the heads of her characters unconvincing. Lynnie is supposed to be mentally challenged, and yet her thought processes appear perfectly normal. Homan is supposed to be profoundly deaf, and yet at times he "thinks" in a colloquial American accent. Neither, for me, rings true. This author has set herself a difficult task, but I was unconvinced.

Add to that, a very slow plot, and a rather confusing ending (which includes an extraordinary coincidence), and this all adds up to a most unsatisfactlry read. I realise that so far I am very much in a minority (two other reviews so far have both given the book five stars) and I too would like to have been able to recommend this novel. Sadly, I can't. Perhaps someone can tell me what I've missed.
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Tracked by 1 customer

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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 8 Oct 2012 10:06:47 BDT
Lincs Reader says:
Oh dear, just started this one. I was hoping for something a bit special, but feel that I may be let down? Will report back!

Posted on 12 Oct 2013 17:53:04 BDT
James Burns says:
You missed two things. Firstly, Homan became profoundly deaf following a fever. He "thinks" in the language he learned before this happened. Secondly, Lynnie is never given a formal diagnosis in the book, but being a selective mute or being at the high achieving end of the autistic spectrum could both explain her early difficulties and why she was put into a home, whilst also explaining the abilities she later had.
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Review Details

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4.0 out of 5 stars (77 customer reviews)
5 star:
 (35)
4 star:
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3 star:
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Reviewer

F. M. M. Stott
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   

Location: Devizes, Wiltshire

Top Reviewer Ranking: 851