16. Discuss the symbolism of the lighthouse man. Is it meant to be taken purely literally, or is there a metaphoric aspect to it as well?
17. Rachel Simon has said in interviews that the character of Homan follows a journey that has some overlaps with the episodes Odysseus goes through in The Odyssey. What similarities do you see between the stories of Homan and Odysseus? Does The Story of Beautiful Girl conjure up other myths, folk tales or fairytales?
18. Romantic relationships between characters with disabilities are rare in fiction. How is the romance between Homan and Lynnie like the romances of characters in fiction who don't have disabilities? How is it different?
19. The Story of Beautiful Girl is ultimately a story about love—romantic love, familial love, the love between friends. In what ways are the characters in the novel transformed by love, both given and received?
20. The epigraph of the novel is "Telling our stories is holy work." Who does the "our" refer to in this book? What other groups of people can you think of whose stories have been hidden from society?
Read O's review of The Story of Beautiful Girl
Get more reading guides