Thursday, June 4, 2015

Book Review: Confirmed Diagnosis by Mary King

Confirmed Diagnosis: Book #2 in The McFadden Series 
By Mary King
Publisher: Mary King
Published: May 5, 2014

Amazon Synopsis:
New England and the Berkshire Hills of western Massachusetts provide the perfect setting for The McFadden Series, by author Mary King. 

Dr. Lauren McFadden and her husband Bryan have moved on with their physical medicine careers and are enjoying their new resort-style home in the Berkshire Hills of western Massachusetts. Turning a dream into reality, they're providing a home and rehabilitation services for some very deserving young people who have special medical needs and have no place else to go. 

Adam is deaf and has a seizure disorder, but it's his lively character and artistic talent that capture a lot of attention. Devon is learning to walk again after the accident that nearly took his life. What he lacks in size, he clearly makes up for with his above average intelligence. Philip seems to be coming out of his shell in spite of his abusive past, but he never has much to say and that makes it hard to tell what's going on in his mind. Once again, he's forced to relive the horrific murder/suicide of his parents when a trouble-making bully from his former school transfers to Rockwell High School. 

College students Noah and Buddy have been hired to work as assistants at the estate. Buddy will spend months recovering from arm and hand injuries sustained when he was attacked in the dorm. The hate crime may cost him everything he has worked so hard to achieve if the school administration doesn't allow him to return for the fall semester. Noah is hiding more than burn scars from the tragic house fire that happened two summers ago. Dr. McFadden and Bryan go to great lengths to try and make things right again for the young man, but pushing too hard could send Noah over the edge. Meanwhile, an argument between Noah and Buddy opens the door to more than a working relationship. 

Three new residents join the family. Sixteen year-old Michael arrives at the end of June after sustaining a broken neck from a motorcycle accident that left him quadriplegic. He's angry and doesn't see the point of living, especially if he can't have what he defines as a normal physical relationship with a girl. He's determined to die rather than try to survive in a world that doesn't readily accommodate individuals with profound disabilities. David Sutherland is a personable young middle school student who makes regular visits to the estate with his horse to visit Devon. He's going to need a new place to live after his father is brutally murdered and his home is destroyed by fire. Cameron Jones slips into the family rather unexpectedly. He takes a starring role in what could only be described as a Christmas miracle. 

Each young man needs Dr. McFadden and Bryan's professional skills, but it's going to take more than orthopedic medicine to heal eight shattered lives. The boys all need unconditional love, understanding and patience. Hard work, laughter, tears and compassion are just a few in a long list of particulars that weave the members of the McFadden household into an unforgettable family. 

Book Links

 My Thoughts:

Confirmed Diagnosis continues the story of the McFaddens as they continue to open their home and their hearts to teenage boys with severe disabilities, who require extensive rehabilitation.

Dr. Lauren McFadden and her husband Bryan, a physical and occupational therapist assist these young men who have nowhere else to go. Their parents either don’t want them or have passed away. Emotionally they are damaged. Often they have been abused.

I loved the emphasis on family in this book. Though none of the individuals are related, Lauren and Bryan bring them together as family and teach them what family is all about, loving them unconditionally.

I thought it was wonderful how well-adjusted each of the young people became given some of the terrible backgrounds that they had, but I also thought that it was somewhat unrealistic that they all adjusted so well.

There was an emphasis on diversity and acceptance of differences in people in Confirmed Diagnosis. This is a great reminder for all of us. No matter our disability or our sexual preference, we are people first and should be accepted.

Confirmed Diagnosis could be considered a romance, given the loving relationship between Lauren and Bryan. However, I cannot classify this novel as a clean romance due to a couple of scenes, one between Lauren and Bryan, and another scene between two individuals which are too graphic for clean romance.

Medical information and procedures were well explained and made easy to understand. Since the youth living in the home had to undergo a lot of medical treatment, it was inevitable that some of it would be described in the book. The author did an excellent job weaving it into the story making it part of the story and not just a description. I felt like I was there in the room when the procedures were taking place.

Confirmed Diagnosis was an excellent book in the literary fiction category. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Anyone who likes books where medical procedures or persons with disabilities are included will enjoy this book. I gave it 4 stars out of 5.

Thank you to the author for providing a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. A positive opinion was not required. All thoughts are my own.

About the Author:

Mary King is an American novelist, independent freelance writer and advocate for persons with disabilities. She grew up in the southern state of Florida, completing her education with a B.S. in psychology from Jacksonville University in 1979. She has worked consistently in physical rehabilitation and has been a caregiver throughout most of her adult life. A broad spectrum of life experiences has given her valuable insight for her written work. Ms. King currently lives in northwest Florida, where she continues to write articles and work on her saga story, The McFadden Series.

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