Jimmy Quinn (Traverse City State Hostial Book 1) - Richard VanDeWeghe
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In the 1950s, in a small town in northern Michigan, a state mental hospital recognized for its humane patient care is increasingly threatened by a mysterious collusion of local antipathy and state politics. What begins as chronic vandalism soon spirals to physical assault. Struggling to make sense of the mysterious events, psychology intern Henry Merchartt wrestles with his evolving ethical beliefs about how society should treat mental patients with dignity and respect. He navigates the complex world of the hospital, patients and staff, and the local community, as tension builds. In the process, he develops a brotherly bond with Jimmy Quinn, a patient whose work at the asylum illuminates for Henry the critical dignity that accompanies humanistic patient care. Henry’s moral indignation mounts as Jimmy falls victim to the growing threat to patient participation in work and farm programs. Henry puts his professional and personal life in jeopardy, as he is propelled from being a closet social critic to taking dramatic, covert, and illegal actions for Jimmy’s sake.
An unforgettable story of fraternal love and human compassion, Jimmy Quinn weaves together two narrative arcs. One is the hospital’s unfortunate loss of its celebrated “work is therapy” approach to patient care. The other is the development of Henry’s moral courage, as he chronicles it with the voice of a skilled reporter.