The Silence of the Vessel
A story of mothers and daughters, family, faith and fate.
"I want to be a nun."
Elspeth, recently retired from Cape Breton University's Celtic Culture Department, is not sure how to deal with her teenage daughter Cecelia's outdated and strangely troubling post-secondary plans. Maybe the spiritual inclination Cecelia has would have been welcomed in the past, but with all the scandals the Catholic Church has been going through during recent decades, all Elspeth can do is wonder if it is too early in the day for a glass of wine before responding.
Cecelia has always been a quiet, sometimes even cold child, and Elspeth worries once again if she and Andrew had been too old to raise a menopausal baby. Now as Cecelia approaches high school graduation, and all the decisions that come with that transition, the gap between them seems to be more than merely an age thing.
As she tries to understand her strange desire to become a nun, Cecelia befriends an aging Sister at the Notre Dame congregation at the convent in Mabou. Madonna, a fitting name for a woman who lived a life devoted to God, is in a time of transition as well, struggling with ailments of an aging mind and body. Because of Cecelia's interest, she tries to piece together the reasons she became a bride of Christ.
Faith, family, and fate bring these three women together. Cecelia is looking for hope in an increasingly fragile world but Madonna's past, if she can face it, may challenge all of them.