A Place Called Morning explores the themes of love and longing through the lives of two women, separated by more than a century in time, both living in Ottawa, and both members of the community of the Sisters of the Holy Child. Each encounters love and experiences the cost of loving. Although Kate and Symphorosa choose different paths in their search for fulfillment, both are drawn to northern Ontario and to the small community of Silver Maple Springs, where an ancient Indian elder brings their stories together.
Wordlessly, her small guide sprang into the shallow water, his moccasins tied around his neck…. Boyd pulled the canoe up onto the sand, and Kate followed his retreating figure. About a dozen multi-coloured frame houses lined the road on either side...
"This is my grandfather's house. I'll come back to take you home."
"Wait, Boyd." Kate felt anxious and wished he'd stay. "Does your grandfather speak English?"
Boyd's smile was trimmed with pride and delight. "When he wants to," he said inscrutably, then ran off lightly down the road. ....
"Kate Matthews." He repeated her name with the same musical lilt she'd heard in Boyd's voice. "Please sit down and tell me about yourself.”READ MORE
His English was flawless. To Kate's carefully-phrased question as to where he had gone to school, he responded with a wry smile, " I learned English from the Sisters of the Holy Child, and I still bear the marks of their charity where it was believed it would do the most good."
Kate fingered her ring, the only sign she wore of her commitment as a nun, and deftly placing her hand in her sweater pocket, slipped it off.
"So you, too, are a nun, Kate. I guessed as much when I saw your ring. Why didn't you tell me that when you introduced yourself?"
Kate looked at the wise, gentle eyes that held hers. There was no way to evade the question, but even she didn't know the answer.COLLAPSE
Rev Allan Savage in The Northwestern Ontario Catholic, Thunder Bay, Ontario (April/May 2010) wrote:
"There is ...much about the book that is both skillful and endearing. There is a narrative within the narrative in the form of a journal written by another nun, Sister Symphorosa, some hundred years previously which Kate stumbles across in her time of need. The personal experiences that Sister Symphorosa sets down in the journal provide an interesting parallel with Kate's ongoing dilemma. McLaughlin's characters are well-rounded and interesting and her description of the Ontario landscape is excellent and convincing without overpowering the narrative thread. She carefully avoids over-sentimentalizing the characters of the Ojibway grandfather and grandson with whom Kate finds she has an affinity. Given that her central character is a nun and therefore a character that by definition is not expected to be subject to human failing or emotion, McLaughlin had done well to craft an accessible heroine, making Kate both likeable and human....the book is very readable and although her style needs further development, McLaughlin's fiction will provide an eloquent and exceptional perspective in Canadian fiction."
'In A Place Called Morning...Anne McLaughlin, GSIC shares a sacred story to inspire our ordinary lives....There is no feigned ceremony, ritual or "other-worldly" mystery in her book but ordinary things and relationships that show sacramental grace....there is just the reality of an invitation to live one's ordinary life in God's truth.... Anne weaves a good tale of mystery amid mundane experience. There are surprises and revelations in this story which upon reflection is not that different from the reader's own experience. Anne gives us insight into the spiritual life of her characters without becoming intrusive....her story is a discovery of the sacred within the ordinary.'