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The Forgotten Daughter
Joanna Goodman. Harper, $17.99 trade paper (416p) ISBN 978-0-06-299831-6
Canadian writer Goodman (The Home for Unwanted Girls) draws on the history of Quebec separatism and the thousands of children known as the Duplessis orphans, who were wrongly declared mentally ill in the 1940s and ’50s as part of a political corruption scheme, in this emotionally charged novel. In 1992, 20-something separatist Veronique Fortin, whose father served 12 years for a murder he committed in 1970 as part of the cause, meets journalist James Phenix. James and Veronique fall in love, but their opposing political views—he’s in favor of Canadian unity—hamper the relationship. Veronique befriends James’s older sister, Elodie, who was sent to an orphanage in the 1950s after her unwed mother gave her up, and faced abused after Quebec’s government converted her orphanage to a mental institution. Though Elodie was reunited with her parents when she was 24, she bears emotional scars from her ordeal and is part of a group of Duplessis orphans seeking justice. When James and Veronique’s relationship falters, Veronique’s bond with Elodie remains strong even as Elodie continues her quest to expose the province’s corrupt history. Goodman brings the horrors and complexities of recent Canadian history to life with vivid, realistic characters. Readers will be spellbound. Agent: Beverley Slopen, Beverley Slopen Literary Agency. (Oct.)

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly on 10/16/2020

Release date 10/01/2020

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