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Retarded Girl Raised in Dog Pen by Lauren Leigh is a spellbinding murder mystery that offers a sympathetic look at the struggles faced by individuals with disabilities. It was published March 2014 and is available for sale on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Retarded-Girl-Raised-Dog-Pen/dp/0991374541/
Baby is every adoptive parent’s nightmare—blind, paralyzed from the waist down, unable to speak, and diagnosed with developmental and intellectual disabilities. For the first 10 years of her life she is raised outside in a dog pen by a cruel adoptive father, a Mississippi deputy sheriff who values his bird dogs more than his daughter.
Retarded Girl Raised in Dog Pen is the story of Baby’s placement in a Mississippi mental institution for individuals with profound retardation after the brutal murder of her father and the arrest of her mother, and her desperate attempt to escape the institution.
Once the mother is convicted of murder and sentenced to death, the story takes a bizarre twist as mental health professions discover that Baby is capable of communication, despite being trapped inside a grotesque body that holds her prisoner.
How much does Baby know? Can she prove her mother’s innocence?
As the mother sits on death row, the clock ticking, a brilliant psychologist has the shock of her life when she discovers that Baby is not who she seems. The question is will the psychologist be able to solve the mystery in time to save the mother’s life?
Similar to One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest in the manner in which it reveals the inner workings of a mental institution, it is, in the end, about the triumph of intellect and passion over indifference and cruelty. It is written in the tradition of The Sound and the Fury and To Kill a Mockingbird, two novels that address the complex issue of intellectual disabilities.
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