Author: Joanna Goodman
Published by: Harper Paperbacks on Oct. 27, 2020
Genres: Historical Fiction
Format: Paperback, ARC
Source: Harper Perennial
Book Rating: 8.5/10
From the author of the bestselling novel The Home for Unwanted Girls, comes another compulsively readable story of love and suspense, following the lives of two women reckoning with their pasts and the choices that will define their futures.
1992: French-Canadian factions renew Quebec’s fight to gain independence, and wild, beautiful Véronique Fortin, daughter of a radical separatist convicted of kidnapping and murdering a prominent politician in 1970, has embraced her father’s cause. So it is a surprise when she falls for James Phénix, a journalist of French-Canadian heritage who opposes Quebec separatism. Their love affair is as passionate as it is turbulent, as they negotiate a constant struggle between love and morals.
At the same time, James’s older sister, Elodie Phénix, one of the Duplessis Orphans, becomes involved with a coalition demanding justice and reparations for their suffering in the 1950s when Quebec’s orphanages were converted to mental hospitals, a heinous political act of Premier Maurice Duplessis which affected 5,000 children.
Véronique is the only person Elodie can rely on as she fights for retribution, reliving her trauma, while Elodie becomes a sisterly presence for Véronique, who continues to struggle with her family’s legacy.
The Forgotten Daughter is a moving portrait of true love, familial bonds, and persistence in the face of injustice. As each character is pushed to their moral brink, they will discover exactly which lines they’ll cross—and just how far they’ll go for what they believe in.
Emotive, absorbing, and informative!
The Forgotten Daughter is a charged, fascinating tale that takes us to Quebec, Canada during the 1990s when the October Crisis of 1970 involving the FLQ separatists has not been forgotten, the desire for independence and sovereignty is still a passionate and inflammatory cause, and one of the most horrendous political and religious scandals in Canadian history, the institutionalization of orphans as mentally ill in order to receive increased subsidization still requires some form of justice and restitution to be imposed.
The prose is fluid and evocative. The characters are raw, troubled, scarred, and genuine. And the plot, including all the subplots, intertwine and unravel into a tumultuous, gritty tale of life, love, loss, fervour, family, secrets, deception, introspection, corruption, turmoil, violence, and political upheaval.
Overall, The Forgotten Daughter is an atmospheric, gritty, intricate novel by Goodman that does a remarkable job of highlighting her incredible passion and knowledge into this one province’s ongoing struggle for cultural identity over national unity.
This novel is available now.
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Thank you to Harper Perennial for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.