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One Book One Community
Celebrating its 18th year, the One Book, One Community of Waterloo Region has announced its 2019 reading selection. All of Waterloo Region will be on the same page reading ...
The Home for Unwanted Girls
About the Book
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'.
Little 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 arbitrarily declared "mentally ill" as the result of a new law that provides more funding to psychiatric hospitals than it does 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. Meanwhile, 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.
The Home for Unwanted Girls is inspired by the story of author Joanna Goodman's mother, who was the daughter of an Anglo "Seed Man" and a French-Canadian mother. Joanna is married to a French-Canadian man, and is bilingual and multi-cultural.
About the Author
Joanna Goodman is the author of five novels, including the #1 Canadian bestseller The Home for Unwanted Girls, which was on national bestseller lists for six months, as well as The Finishing School, also a national bestseller. Her stories have appeared in The Fiddlehead, B & A Fiction, Event, The New Quarterly, and White Wall Review, as well as excerpted in Elisabeth Harvor’s fiction anthology A Room at the Heart of Things.
Author Website: joannagoodmanauthor.com
- The Star - April 13, 2018
- Global News Morning Show - April 18, 2018
- Montreal Gazette - May 31, 2018
- CBC Radio - June 11, 2018
- The Word on the Street - August 22, 2018
This year's reading selection is available in several formats.
Reserve your copy today!
About the One Book, One Community Program
One Book, One Community (OBOC) was created to promote reading by adults, and to build new connections in the community through the shared experience of reading.
In 2002, when One Book, One Community was launched, organizers expected that 1% of the Region’s population would read Alistair McLeod’s No Great Mischief. Instead of the expected 4000 readers, more than 6800 readers were counted and an additional 3000 people attended author events.
By tracking sales, library circulations, web hits and event attendance, the committee has recorded that more than 100,000 people in Waterloo Region have participated in the program. Interest in the reading program has continued over the previous nine years with selections continuing to generate interest in libraries, bookstores, workplaces and book club gatherings.
Organized by library staff, booksellers, city staff and volunteers, the program requires a year round commitment. After the book title is announced, individuals, book clubs, organizations, employers – everyone – is invited to take up the challenge of the One Book, One Community initiative and organize their own way of "getting on the same page."
Author events will take place around the region, including an author visit to Kitchener Public Library. Watch our website or that of the Waterloo Region Record for author event dates and notices of community events as they develop. You may also check out the One Book, One Community website at www.oboc.ca.
Keep up with all the latest news by following @oboc_kw on Twitter.
Readers and event participants will be counted again this year, so be sure to participate and to let the community know how you got involved.