Kelcey details their struggles with the domestic realities of setting up a home or living in the hostile conditions imposed by the geography, as well as their need to adjust the way they worked. The rich sources left by Christian missionaries provide details of missionary women caught up in the zeal of their vocation but held within the confines of a paternal church. The letters and reports of the Grey Nuns who worked alongside the Oblate Fathers in the Mackenzie indicate the hardships imposed by their situation but also show how driven they were by their missionary purpose. Alone in Silence is the first book to address the anonymity of European women in the north. Kelcey draws from a diverse field of sources, making use of published and primary sources so scattered that there has been no previous sense of collective memories. By giving voice to this neglected group she offers a unique perspective on the vast literature on life in the north.