‘Til Morning Light
In this final installment of the Gracelin O’Malley trilogy, Ann Moore draws a vibrant picture of American history in the mid-19th century, entirely through the eyes of a circle of characters so warmly familiar that you put the book down feeling as if you’d just been told the tale by a distant aunt. Here, Gracelin is newly arrived in San Francisco, looking for Captain Reinders, whose marriage proposal she has decided to accept. The good captain is nowhere to be found, however, leaving Gracelin destitute with two children. As is her usual good fortune, she falls in with fine upstanding people. In this case, a Dr. Wakefield, who hires her as a cook. In the good doctor’s house, Gracelin sets out to put everyone’s life to rights while making inquiries about her lost brother, Sean, whose travels with the Mormons, and subsequent loss of faith, have led him to the sordid side of San Francisco. The arrival of Captain Reinders brings hope that her own tumultuous life will soon be settled. But in Canada, among the Mi’kmaq Indians, there travels a ghost of her past, desperate to catch up with her again. In the end, many lost souls are gathered together, and many a match is settled – perhaps too handily, for all the loose ends are quite neatly tied. What ‘Til Morning Light lacks in plot-driven excitement it makes up in warmth of character: Gracelin is a model of strength and wisdom, a light unto herself, and I’m entirely smitten.