By Karen Valby
Updated May 04, 2011 at 04:00 AM EDT

On a howling night in 1968, a deaf black man and a seemingly mute young white woman clutching a baby escape from the School for the Incurable and Feebleminded and seek refuge in a widow’s cabin. When the cops bust down the door, the man escapes, but the girl, who’s trapped, whispers for the widow to hide the baby. And thus begins the 40-year struggle for these souls to reunite. Simon, who wrote so sensitively about disability in her memoir Riding the Bus With My Sister, often skirts schmaltz in The Story of Beautiful Girl, but she manages to steer her reader toward the truly stirring. B+

See all of this week’s reviews

Advertisement

Comments