Dorothea Dix didn't grow up in a happy home. Her father was abusive, her mother didn't care enough to be bothered, and Dorothea was left to raise her brothers. By fourteen, she needed more guidance in how to live properly so was sent to live with relatives. All she ever wanted to do was fulfill the purpose God had for her, whatever that was. She wanted to be someone, not just someone's wife. Dorothea began to teach and found it a calling, even starting her own school. Here was the life she thought God had for her, but illness pushed at her constantly. Then, one day she saw the conditions of the mentally ill. They were kept in prisons, places without freedom, cleanliness, love, or proper care. This ill treatment became Dorothea's mission - it was time for drastic change. Open the pages of this book and read about the woman who dedicated her life to create a better life for the mentally ill.
I really enjoyed learning about Dorothea Dix. While I knew a little about her from history classes, this book showed me so many other facets of her life. Ms. Kirkpatrick clearly has done the research and presents it in a compelling story that is still relevant today. If you love historical biographies, this is definitely for you. Book groups will have a great deal to discuss when choosing this book. I received my review copy from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for an honest review.