Wednesday, January 30, 2013

One Glorious Ambition by Jane Kirkpatrick

Born to an unavailable mother and an abusive father, Dorothea Dix longs simply to protect and care for her younger brothers, Charles and Joseph. But at just fourteen, she is separated from them and sent to live with relatives to be raised properly. Lonely and uncertain, Dorothea discovers that she does not possess the ability to accept the social expectations imposed on her gender and she desires to accomplish something more than finding a suitable mate.

Yearning to fulfill her God-given purpose, Dorothea finds she has a gift for teaching and writing. Her pupils become a kind of family, hearts to nurture, but long bouts of illness end her teaching and Dorothea is adrift again. It’s an unexpected visit to a prison housing the mentally ill that ignites an unending fire in Dorothea’s heart—and sets her on a journey that will take her across the nation, into the halls of the Capitol, befriending presidents and lawmakers, always fighting to relieve the suffering of what Scripture deems, the least of these.

In bringing nineteenth-century, historical reformer Dorothea Dix to life, author Jane Kirkpatrick combines historical accuracy with the gripping narrative of a woman who recognized suffering when others turned away, and the call she heeded to change the world.

My thoughts...

A historical novel based on the life of Dorothea Dix. What a great book! It follows the life of Dorothea and includes many interesting characters. Her passion is for teaching. I found it to be a fast paced, very interesting novel. She suffered pain and loss that was too much for one person to handle. The final chapter deals with politics and her push to change things for the "insane", her crusade did indeed change things for the mentally ill. She was a great woman and I thoroughly enjoyed every page.

I received a copy of this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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