Book Review · Books

The Degenerates

London gets knocked up by a boy she believes loves her. She gets taken away from the lady who is watching over her and taken to the Fernald School where at first she is treated kind, but then put in a cell where she is made to clean up filth by the other inhabitants.

London meets Maxine and Rose. She wonders why they are stuck in this awful place. Rose has her stick she likes to hold, which gives her comfort and is childlike. London heard Rose termed as a Mongoloid. Maxine is Rose’s older sister and very protective of Rose. Then there is Alice who has a club foot. Slowly they form a potential friendship.

Enter the world of the Fernald School where London, Alice, Maxine and Rose are stuck. Maxine keeps hoping her mother will come rescue her and Rose, but she never even comes to visit on family day. Their lives at the school is regimented by breakfast, walks and helping in different areas, like laundry, etc. Those in charge are mean.

I received my complimentary copy of The Degenerates by J. Albert Mann from NetGalley. The views are mine and of my own choice. This historical novel gives you a glimpse into the world of an institution for the feeble minded, disabled, etc. I wondered if this was a real place and Googled it. Here is a short video about it. Watching videos on this place is beyond disturbing and so sad. This novel brings this place to life. It’s not an easy read, but important to educate.