I love Jane Kirkpatrick’s books. They always bring history to life. It’s not always neat and tidy. It’s not always pretty. It’s real history and real life … in all its messiness.
This one threw me a curve. I’ve read about Dorothea Dix in numerous places over the years. Her work with the nurses during the Civil War was nothing short of legendary. When I saw her name on the cover, I snatched up this book!
What I didn’t expect, but was delighted to discover, is that the book starts when she is little more than a child and ends before the Civil War. I had *no idea* that Miss Dix’s life’s passion was to bring humane treatment to the insane, the feeble-minded, and those suffering other mental traumas. Wow. It’s an incredible story of persistence, sacrifice, and living for a mission. Well worth reading.