The Forgotten Daughter by Joanna Goodman is a follow up to her 2018 novel, The Home for Unwanted Girls. With that said, it can easily be read as a stand alone novel. For those us of living in Quebec, I feel like this novel is an emotional work of historical fiction. Goodman, a Montreal native, does a brilliant job at delivering the sights, sounds and smells of Montreal. Every borough and restaurant description brings the reader straight there. The politics however, are heavy and emotional. Goodman’s depiction of the 1995 ‘No’ rally brought me right back into that crowd.
The story follows Veronique Fortin, the daughter of one of the FLQ members and kidnappers, through her fight and resolve for Quebec independence. When she falls in love with a journalist for an English newspaper, she befriends his older sister, Elodie Pheonix, a former Duplessis orphan. There is a lot of political history to unpack in this novel. Not only does it look at the language tensions and subsequent referendums but it delves back into the history of the Duplessis Orphans, only this time looking at the aftermath and legal battles.
Even though this is a work of historical fiction, I learned a lot about elements from Quebec history that I wasn’t aware of. Growing up I had heard about the October crisis, but until reading this book, I never fully knew exactly what happened (such as the War Measure’s Act being invoked). Fans of historical fiction should definitely include The Forgotten Daughter on their wish lists this year.
The Forgotten Daughter by Joanna Goodman, published by Harper Collins, is available now.
Meredith is a Disney obsessed stay-at-home mom. When she’s not planning a trip, you’ll find her with her nose in a book.