Book Club: The Home for Unwanted Girls by Johanna Goodman (ZM)

Feb 28, 2024


Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Zoom Session

2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Convener: Sylvia Skippen

Facilitator:  Liliana Cappella


This is the story of a young, unwed mother, Maggie, who is forcibly separated from her daughter, Elodie, at birth and their efforts to find each other. In the 1950s Quebec, the French and English tolerated each other, but these English parents didn’t want their daughter to marry a poor French boy, Gabriel, on the neighbouring farm. Elodie lives in an impoverished orphanage, which is precarious enough, but the story takes a tragic turn. Elodie and thousands of other orphans in Quebec are declared mentally ill due to a new law that provides more funding to psychiatric hospitals than to orphanages. Elodie endures deplorable treatment at the hands of nuns and finally obtains her freedom at seventeen. She is then alone, facing an unfamiliar and unnerving world. Maggie, married to a businessman, is eager to start a family but cannot forget the daughter she was forced to abandon. By a chance reconnection with Gabriel, she realizes she must make a difficult decision about what she wants from life and go in search of her daughter, finally reclaiming the truth that has been denied them both.

We hope you can register and join us in the discussion of this book.