Synopsis of Ward D by Freida McFadden
In a closed psychiatric unit, medical student Amy Brenner must spend the night.
Amy is not looking forward to spending the evening in the hospital’s inpatient mental health facility (known as Ward D). There are a few key reasons why she has always avoided the obligatory overnight shift. Why no one will ever know.
Amy is becoming more and more persuaded that a horrific event is taking place behind these locked doors as the hours pass. The disappearance of patients and staff members raises serious concerns for everyone on the facility.
The thought of spending the night in Ward D was Amy’s worst fear.
She may never be able to go away again.
It appears that everyone has read and appreciated the works of Freida McFadden except me. The locked chamber mystery in a mental hospital setting in one of her audiobooks sounded too good to pass up. But it’s not living up to my high hopes in any manner.
To begin, Leslie Howard provides the narration. She performed a wonderful job, however her voice in this story sounds really youthful. Because of it plus the fact that it was written in such a juvenile manner, I had to double-check more than once to make sure I wasn’t reading a Young Adult novel instead of an adult one.
Several times I had to remind myself that Amy, the main character, was still in high school and hence could not be a medical student.
The story wasn’t terrible, either. Something seemed off behind the scenes, and I was curious as to what it was, but I just couldn’t put my finger on it.
Related Post: 5 Best Freida McFadden Books in Order
As someone with a master’s degree in mental health counseling who has worked with patients at a facility where serious mental diseases are treated, I was shocked by how inaccurate the depiction of mental health was in this book.
One gets the impression that the author glanced at a few diagnoses in the DSM and decided that was enough to publish a book. This novel does a terrible job of depicting psychiatric care, the operation of the unit, medical ethics, mental illness, and even Amy’s abilities.
My main gripe with the novel is the way in which its protagonist generalizes all people with mental illness as being dangerous.
There’s no reason to falsely label an already marginalized group in a society where violence is endemic. Less than 3% of people with major mental illness are aggressive, and those that do tend to have other risk factors for aggression, according to the American Psychological Association.
People with mental illness are ill and require medical care, not stigma and condemnation. Ward D by Freida McFadden does nothing to dispel the stereotypes.
Amy is a third-year medical student in this fictional account. She had no notion what to do when she was told to administer an intramuscular injection. I’ve been administering my own intramuscular injections at home for my disability for years; I learned how to do it from the insert, which is probably one of the easiest things a person can do.
I would have thought that after three years of medical school, she would have learnt that and much more, but she seemed to know very nothing about medicine or psychology. She seemed to have read the mental diagnoses from the DSM rather than having any real understanding of them.
While working as a therapist on Long Island, where the novel is set, I frequently made hospital visits to patients. I’ve never seen solitary cells in a conventional hospital, but I imagine they exist in wards for the “criminally insane.” However, this took place in a generic inpatient psychiatric facility, where restraints are typically used only in individual patient rooms.
The text failed to mention the routine checks that are performed. To see a hospital without a generator to use if the electricity goes out was shocking. Amy’s concerns about doing the nightly shift at Ward D raised ethical concerns, but these were ignored.
In sum, it was an easy read, but not a terrific one. After reading this, I have no plans to join the Freida McFadden fan club because of the book’s inaccuracies and negative portrayal of mental health. Books that accurately portray a marginalized group without perpetuating stereotypes are my preferred reading material.
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About the Author
Benjamin Hughes is a literary enthusiast with a lifelong passion for books. He has an extensive knowledge of classic literature and a profound interest in exploring the depths of philosophical and existential themes.
With his articulate writing style, he guides readers through complex narratives and leaves them with a deeper understanding and appreciation for the written word.