Harper Collins Publishers
New York, New York
“Practicing psychiatry in a place like this is like standing on a glacier and trying to influence the direction it will travel. “
In many mental health facilities, patients are there for the long haul. When people are admitted, few leave except when they die. Simply put, they are not going anywhere.
For most mental health care givers, they have to believe that they can make a small difference in the lives of these frequently hopeless individuals. It might take time, perhaps ten or twenty years, but something has to help these people.
For young doctors to choose to work in a facility like this, besides the hope, the reputation of the hospital is important. If someone chose to work in a place with no hope for their entire career, they would need to be assessed as to their mental stability.
Many young doctors begin in these places. Most move on whenever the opportunity arises.
Five years ago, Dr. Lise Shields began her work at Menaker, a correctional psychiatric facility in Maryland. When she started her work there as a psychiatrist, she was optimistic and hopeful that she would have some influence. The work here though is daily challenging with the realism that no one here is ever cured. No one leaves, ever, to return their life in the outside world.
Lise has a new patient, Jason Edwards. What is strange about this patient who is her new assignment is that she is given no paperwork or background information on him. How can she treat someone without a past? Why all the secrecy? What do her superiors know that they will not share with her?
As she searches for answers, she begins to feel paranoid. Are people purposefully conspiring against the health of her new patient? Is she being followed or is it just an overactive imagination?
The Forgetting Place is a psychological thriller that holds your attention to the last sentence. With the theme of immense loneliness to those in the mental health world, the story is told through Lise's eyes. You see, hear and feel with her every page.
The realism is phenomenal with factual information about mental health even explaining the blind spots. This is when a patient's medicine is working well and the individual feels normal. During this time, the mental illness causes the person to be blind to what actually happens when they do not have their medicine.
Author John Burley utilizes his life experiences of a paramedic, firefighter and an emergency medicine physician. His first novel, The Absence of Mercy received the National Black Ribbon Award.
For a psychological page-turner, read The Forgetting Place.