After growing up in a difficult household, Dorothea Dix became a teacher and author. But in 1841, her orderly life was upended when she taught a Sunday school class at a woman's prison. Kirkpatrick's historical novel provides an authentic portrait of the woman who challenged Victorian convention and revolutionized the treatment of the mentally ill. 400 pages, softcover from Waterbrook.
One dedicated woman...giving voice to the suffering of many
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. Its an unexpected visit to a prison housing the mentally ill that ignites an unending fire in Dorotheas heartand 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.
Jane Kirkpatrick has authored over 20 books, including The Daughters Walk and Where Lilacs Still Bloom. A lively speaker, Kirkpatrick is a frequent keynote presenter for conferences, women's retreats,fund-raisers and workshops. Jane believes that our lives are the stories that others read first and she encourages groups to discover the power of their own stories to divinely heal and transform. She lives with her husband Jerry in Central Oregon.
Praise for One Glorious Ambition
"Jane Kirkpatricks ability to probe the human spirit makes One Glorious Ambition a soaring novel of love, compassion, and duty. Born a nineteenth-century woman with few rights, Dorothea Dix nonetheless challenged the nations most powerful men to provide humane treatment for the hopelessthe retarded and insane. In Kirkpatricks skillful hands, One Glorious Ambition inspires like few other novels."
Sandra Dallas, author of True Sisters and The Quilt Walk
"One Glorious Ambition is a compelling novelization of Dorothea Dixs crusade on behalf of the mentally ill. Kirkpatricks painstaking documentation and customary attention to historical detail shine here, and the connections between Dixs personal relationships and her lifes work stand out. Dix is a worthy American heroine. The interview section at the end of the book adds many fascinating nuggets to the story."
Susan Page Davis, award-winning author of more than forty books
"Jane Kirkpatrick has the rare ability to use whats known about historical women as the foundation for compelling historical fiction. Here, Kirkpatrick shines her light on the remarkable life of Dorothea Dix, seamlessly blending fact and fiction to illuminate Dixs journey from a girl struggling to save her family to a woman championing all those in need. Dorothea Dix can still inform and inspire modern readers, and One Glorious Ambition is a story to be treasured."
Kathleen Ernst, award-winning author of the Chloe Ellefson Mysteries
"Jane Kirkpatrick uses her considerable writing talents to bring Dorothea Dix to life in this exciting historical novel. In doing so, Kirkpatrick gives a voice and face not only to a heroic crusader but also to Americans seldom seen or heard in our societythose living with mental disorders. Her fiction reads like fact because it describes a campaign that still needs to be waged and exposes societal flaws that have yet to be addressed."
Pete Earley, author of Crazy: A Fathers Search Through Americas Mental Health Madness
"Thank you, Jane, for personally introducing me to Dorothea in your book One Glorious Ambition. It is a joyful experience to come to actually know someone I knew so much about. My admiration of Dorothea Dix and her work has been deepened by your work, Jane."
Dean Brooks, MD, superintendent (19551982), Oregon State Hospital
"A must-read! I was moved to tears by the sense of history, tragedy, and hope of Dorotheas life work accomplished on behalf of people with mental health challenges. Every human being should know Dorothea Dixs story. Jane Kirkpatrick captures it magnificently!"
Gina Firman Nikkel, PhD, president and CEO, Foundation for Excellence in Mental Health Care
"Read this book and have Dorothea Dix transform your life. Be uplifted not simply by the grand trajectory of Dixs singular journey but by the irresistible voice that Jane Kirkpatrick compels you to hear. A deeply sensitive and intelligent young woman overcomes trenchant pain and social barriers to fight tirelessly for those who have neither a voice nor an advocate. Her impossible life is unraveled and liberated in this novel. And read with a sense of urgency, for the battles fought by Dorothea Dix more than a century ago are very much in need of being waged again."
Charles Kiselyak, producer and director of award-winning films including Completely Cuckoo, Fearful Symmetry, and A Constant Forge