The Home For Unwanted Girls: The Heart-wrenching, Gripping Story Of A Mother-daughter Bond That Could Not Be Broken – Insp by Joanna GoodmanThe Home For Unwanted Girls: The Heart-wrenching, Gripping Story Of A Mother-daughter Bond That Could Not Be Broken – Insp by Joanna Goodman

The Home For Unwanted Girls: The Heart-wrenching, Gripping Story Of A Mother-daughter Bond That…

byJoanna Goodman

Paperback | April 17, 2018

Pricing and Purchase Info

$12.17 online 
$21.00 list price save 42%
Earn 61 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Available in stores


Philomena meets Orphan Train in this suspenseful, provocative novel filled with love, secrets, and deceit—the story of a young unwed mother who is forcibly separated from her daughter at birth and the lengths to which they go to find each other.

In 1950s Quebec, French and English tolerate each other with precarious civility—much like Maggie Hughes’ parents. Maggie’s English-speaking father has ambitions for his daughter that don’t include marriage to the poor French boy on the next farm over. But Maggie’s heart is captured by Gabriel Phénix. When she becomes pregnant at fifteen, her parents force her to give baby Elodie up for adoption and get her life ‘back on track’.

Elodie is raised in Quebec’s impoverished orphanage system. It’s a precarious enough existence that takes a tragic turn when Elodie, along with thousands of other orphans in Quebec, is declared mentally ill as the result of a new law that provides more funding to psychiatric hospitals than to orphanages. Bright and determined, Elodie withstands abysmal treatment at the nuns’ hands, finally earning her freedom at seventeen, when she is thrust into an alien, often unnerving world.

Maggie, married to a businessman eager to start a family, cannot forget the daughter she was forced to abandon, and a chance reconnection with Gabriel spurs a wrenching choice. As time passes, the stories of Maggie and Elodie intertwine but never touch, until Maggie realizes she must take what she wants from life and go in search of her long-lost daughter, finally reclaiming the truth that has been denied them both.





Joanna Goodman is a Canadian author, born in 1969 in Montreal. Her stories have been published in The Fiddlehead, The Ottawa Citizen, B&A Fiction, Event, The New Quarterly, and White Wall Review. Excerpts of her writing have been published in, A Room at the Heart of Things, a fiction anthology by Elisabeth Harvor. She is the author of ...
Title:The Home For Unwanted Girls: The Heart-wrenching, Gripping Story Of A Mother-daughter Bond That…Format:PaperbackDimensions:384 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.96 inPublished:April 17, 2018Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0062684221

ISBN - 13:9780062684226

Look for similar items by category:


Rated 5 out of 5 by from LOVED IT I LOVED this book. It was very well written and I couldn't put it down. I highly recommend it!!
Date published: 2018-05-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautifully written I changed gears from my usual thriller theme when I picked the one up (after all the buzz it was creating) and I'm so glad that I did.  Great Canadian fiction at its finest, written by [now] one of my new favourite authors, Joanna Goodman.  So much so, I have picked up her first novel, The Finishing School, and cannot wait to dive into that one too. There aren't words to describe the excellence behind this book and how well it was written. This book was absolutely phenomenal, plain and simple.  A beautifully written page-turner about the power of a mother's love for her child, set during one of the more darker periods in Canadian history. The story is fictional but is based on factual events, shining light on a very disturbing time in Quebec’s history, when thousands of orphaned children were deemed mentally deficient and locked away in psychiatric hospitals during a politically damning time. What made this book even more  powerful for me was the fact that it was partially based on events of the author's mother's life.   This book pulled at my heart strings throughout and had me so filled with emotion right from the page 1.  To think these events occurred to so many innocent children (and so close to home) is shocking and heartbreaking. The story follows a mother and daughter, separated at birth, throughout the span of their lives during which they are separated.  Each searching for the other, unknowingly, yet trying to live the best life they each can live.  I won't say any more as I think  readers need to experience this story for themselves (and I'd hate to take away from the incredible experience I had reading this book on my own without the influence of reviews). If you are a fan of historical fiction (and are Canadian) please pick up this book.  You will not regret it.
Date published: 2018-05-12
Date published: 2018-05-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good and evil are not always seen The hardships in life seem unendurable sometimes but in this story Mother and Daughter struggle to find each other and repair a broken relationship. It is also a story of evil people who shroud themselves in God's clothing but are abusive, greedy, and selfish.
Date published: 2018-05-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Heart-wrenching This story will absolutely break your heart. The utter sadness that things like this could happen is beyond comprehension. Keep the tissues handy for this one.
Date published: 2018-04-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful Read This is truly one you will not be able to put down. A mothers heartbreak told with such beauty and grace...a MUST READ!
Date published: 2018-04-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Sad This story takes place in rural Canada, near Montreal, and during a different period, the 1950’s. We are shown a family where there isn’t really a lot of love shown, the parents don’t seem to like one another, he is English and she is French, and like the Province they are like oil and water. A young couple get caught up and the result is an unwanted pregnancy, and at that time it was an embarrassment, and the child was put up for adoption, or so they thought. The author shows us a blight on history, the story is historical in nature as this horrible event really did happen. Oh, so very sad, and when you realize it is true it makes it even worse, and we put faces to this tragedy, and the reason this happened? Greed! Heartbreaking page turner, and then the lies, yes, you will wish harm to the people who claim to be people of the church, they are wolves in sheep clothing for sure. Be careful this one will rip you heart, and have the tissues handy. I received this book through Library Thing and the Publisher Harper Paperbacks, and was not required to give a positive review.
Date published: 2018-04-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Beautiful Page Turner Joanna Goodman has written a beautiful novel containing the entire range of emotions experienced by the human heart. This book is the story of Maggie and Elodie, but also the chilling story of so many Quebec children who were abused at the hands of nuns and priests when they had no one to advocate for them. Goodman handles this heartbreaking topic with grace and skill. The heartbreaking exists alongside the heartwarming here, and rather than seek to "solve" this dark moment in Canadian history or gloss over it, Goodman unpacks it and sits with it, looking for hope amidst the ruins. The result is beautiful and at times breathtaking. This is the story of a girl, of love, and of family. If you are a Canadian reader trying to read more Canadian books; this one is for you. If you want to learn more about one of the darker periods about Canadian history, but still leave the novel feeling hopeful; this one is for you. If you are a fan of historical fiction, sweeping family epics, or a beautifully written page turner that will rip your heart in two and then melt it back together; this one is for you. The heart wrenching beauty of this novel is not one that is easily done justice in a review: I suggest you go see for yourself. *My thanks to Harper Collins Canada for an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review* #indigoemployee
Date published: 2018-02-04

Editorial Reviews

The Finishing School plunges the reader headfirst into a fast-paced, nail-biting mystery that also manages to explore friendship, love, adolescence, family and motherhood. By the time you reach the unexpected ending, you’ll practically be gasping for air.”