Joanna Goodman

Books

Coming March 2024

The Inheritance

The new novel from Joanna Goodman

"Wise, immersive and full of the fierce vulnerability that links women together, The Inheritance reminded me of a Meg Wolitzer novel. With immediately engaging characters and a multilayered story that is, at its core, an ode to the deep complexities of being female and the powerful ties of family in all its forms, this is an unforgettable novel from a genuine talent." 

– Marissa Stapley, New York Times bestselling author of Lucky

This sprawling Succession meets Bleak House story straddles past and present, moving from Toronto to New York City, in a poignant portrait of familial bonds, haunted pasts, the collateral damage of life choices, and the promise of a hopeful future as two venerable women fight for the life they deserve.

"Goodman’s novel delves into the toxicity of inheritance and the way it can obsess and destroy one’s sense of self and path in the world. She looks at the myriads of ways the women in the Bunt family hold themselves back, by focusing on appearance, by becoming love addicts, by denying abuse. Their struggle is cringey, complicated and a beautiful thing to behold. Goodman’s women are impossible not to feel empathy and cheer for. An excellent, compulsively readable work." 

– Heather O'Neill, bestselling author of When We Lost Our Heads
Read Synopsis

Arden Moore enjoyed an affluent life thanks to her husband’s financial success as a Bay Street stockbroker, but a year after his unexpected death, the 36-year-old is a grieving single mother deeply in debt and living paycheck to paycheck with her three kids. Then, an unexpected call from a well-known estate lawyer in New York offers a glimmer of hope, setting in motion a complex legal journey that could mean the difference between a life of poverty, or unimaginable wealth thanks to the father she never knew, deceased billionaire, Wallace Ashforth.

Thirty years before, Arden’s mother, Virginia, a flirtatious love addict with a string of failed affairs, had an affair with Wallace that transformed her life. When he died in a plane crash without a will, Virginia fought for years in court to secure a comfortable future for her and the secret unborn daughter she shared with Wallace. Despite her best efforts, society and the legal system prevented her from receiving the money that should rightfully have been hers.

But now, with advances in DNA testing, Arden may finally succeed in claiming the inheritance she has been long denied.

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The Forgotten Daughter

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.

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.

Read Synopsis

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.

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#1 National Bestseller

The Home for Unwanted Girls

Philomena meets The Orphan Train in this suspenseful, provocative novel — 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.

Read Synopsis

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.

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Reviews

About the Author

JOANNA GOODMAN is the author of six novels, including the #1 national bestseller, The Home for Unwanted Girls, which was on The Globe & Mail’s Fiction bestseller list for more than six months, as well as The Forgotten Daughter and The Finishing School, both national bestsellers. 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.

Originally from Montreal, Joanna now lives in Toronto with her husband and two kids. Her next novel, The Inheritance, will be out in March ’24 with Harper Collins.

Contact

Literary Agent

Samantha Haywood

Transatlantic Agency 
2 Bloor Street East, Suite 3500 
Toronto, Ontario 
M4W 1A8 
Canada

416-488-9214 
sam@samanthahaywood.com