Book Review: One Glorious Ambition

One Glorious Ambition
Jane Kirkpatrick

Jane Kirkpatrick has found an interesting niche in the writing world, her novels are fiction based on historical fact.  Unlike other historical fiction that focuses on created characters during a certain period, Kirkpatrick seeks to tell the story of actual historical figures while taking some artistic license to create engaging stories. She does this by doing a great deal of research on the subjects she chooses, she then takes the information and crafts a tale around it.  These stories are not 100% truth, but given the information at hand Kirkpatrick writes a story that is completely plausible given the time period and research on the subject’s life. This is the third of Jane Kirkpatrick’s novels I’ve read and I’ve learned a great deal from each of them, although some are more engaging than others.

In One Glorious Ambition Kirkpatrick tells the story of Dorothea Dix, a woman who championed reform in care for the mentally ill. Before the creation of asylums and mental institutions, those who suffered from  mental illness were treated as criminals and housed alongside them.  Upon discovering this, Dix made it her mission to be a voice for those who couldn’t speak for themselves.  At first she took her case state by state, but eventually ended up fighting for reform at the national level in Washington, D.C. Jane Kirkpatrick does a beautiful job telling Dix’s story in a way that is simultaneously engaging and informative. The story is well written and the characters kept me entertained. I enjoyed getting to know about Dorothea Dix and what drove her to seek reform for the mentally ill.  I am grateful that Jane Kirkpatrick has found this niche and retells history in a way that is much more engaging and entertaining that your typical American History book. I look forward to seeing who’s story she chooses to tell next.

If you’d like to see what I thought about the other books I’ve read by Kirkpatrick, click here and here.


I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for this review. All thoughts are my own and I was not required to write a positive review.

Buy the Book:

If you’re interested in checking out this book you can find it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, as well as many other retailers.


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