A Place Apart


Long-listed for the 2006 Re-Lit Award for Best Novel

For 15-year-old Cathy Mugan, "a place apart" is where she longs to be: apart from her mother, an unhinged, uncontrollable terror who explodes at the slightest provocation. So Cathy has a chance to work at a rectory for the summer, she seizes it.

But "a place apart" is also where Cathy is: surrounded by violence, a cowering father, and a contemptuous brother, she is almost completely alone. Her closest friend exists only in her imagination, a frightening sign that perhaps Cathy has more in common with her mad mother than she - or the reader - wants to believe

Stirring and dramatic, this is an unforgettable debut from Canada’s next major author. Engaging characters, enthralling scenes, and lyrical beauty will make A Place Apart stay with readers for years.


Re-Lit Award for Best Novel


In Maureen Lennon's A Place Apart we are introduced to the horrific realm of emotional, physical, and verbal abuse that tears families apart, in this case quite literally. Despite the heavy topic, Lennon's writing deserves nothing but high praise. She has a gift for descriptive prose, evoking a sense of presence, immediacy, and emotion. While disturbing in so many ways A Place Apart ultimately carries a positive message, providing glimpses of hope for self-actualization by exploring what it means to seize back power over oneself and one's environment. 

-Quill and Quire

This debut novel is a must-read for everyone looking to be inspired by the hard reality of life that some must endure and triumph over. 

-Life and Fashion

A Place Apart is an accomplished novel, a polished and perfect book that is hard to put down - unusual for a first novel.

- KW Record (August, 2005)

I simply cannot praise this novel enough. To put it into perspective, this is the first item I have ever given a book five stars.

The Lethbridge Herald (June, 2005)

Engaging characters, enthralling scenes and lyrical beauty will make A Place Apart stay with readers for years.

Truro Daily News (October, 2005)

A Place Apart by Maureen Lennon is another in a long succession of first rate novels being published this season. Cathy is a teenager in crisis, but not the usual sex, drugs and rock and roll crisis. Cathy's mother is a murder waiting to happen... Cathy is a very memorable character and the novel is one that stays in the memory long after it is finished.

Books in Canada

They are calling Maureen Lennon the next major author, and they may be onto something. It is interesting how many authors seemingly come out of nowhere, with a novel that will be remembered for a long time to come."
"This is an incredible read, one that begs to be discussed for its dramatic impact on the head and the heart.

Shelf Life (July, 2005)

Never mind Jean Crawford and her wire hangers. In this spirited first novel, Maureen Lennon offers a mom from hell - and a resilient victim - who together carve a new niche in the grotesque frieze of family dysfunction.

The Globe and Mail (July, 2005)

A Place Apart is an accomplished work, a polished and perfect book that is hard to put down - unusual for a first novel.

The Guelph Mercury (August, 2005)

One is drawn into Cathy's predicament, wanting again and again to reach into the pages and giver her advice or comfort. Cathy is a remarkable character who stays in memory long after the novel is finished.

Books in Canada (April, 2006)

About the Author