The Home for Unwanted Girls

The Home for Unwanted Girls : The Heart-Wrenching, Gripping Story of a Mother-Daughter Bond That Could Not Be Broken - Inspired by True Events

4.23 (43,747 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Philomena meets Orphan Train in this suspenseful, provocative novel filled with love, secrets, and deceit--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.

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'.

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 declared mentally ill as the result of a new law that provides more funding to psychiatric hospitals than 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.

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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Product details

  • Hardback | 384 pages
  • 163 x 234 x 36mm | 544g
  • English
  • 0062834088
  • 9780062834089

Back cover copy

Philomena meets The Orphan Train in this heart-wrenching story of a mother- daughter bond that could not be broken-a novel inspired by true events.

In 1950s Quebec, the French and English tolerate each other with precarious civility--much like Maggie Hughes's parents. Maggie's English-speaking father has ambitions for his daughter that don't include marriage to the poor French boy, Gabriel Phénix, on the neighboring farm. But Maggie's heart is captured by Gabriel. When she becomes pregnant at fifteen, her parents force her to give baby Elodie up for adoption and get her life "back on track."

Elodie is raised in Quebec's impoverished orphanage system. It's an insecure enough existence that takes a tragic turn when Elodie, along with thousands of other orphans in Quebec, is declared mentally ill as the result of a new law that provides more funding to psychiatric hospitals than to orphanages. Withstanding abysmal treatment at the nuns' hands, Elodie finally earns her freedom at seventeen, when she is thrust into an alien, often unnerving, world.

Maggie, married to a businessman who is eager to start a family, cannot forget the daughter she was forced to abandon, and a chance reconnection with Gabriel spurs a wrenching choice. Over the years Maggie's and Elodie's lives have intertwined but never touched, but they are finally brought together when Maggie goes in search of her long-lost daughter, reclaiming the truth that has been denied them both.
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Review quote

"A study of how love persists through the most trying of circumstances. Deep and meaningful, this novel captures the reader's attention until they're rewarded with a happy ending." -- Booklist

"Moving." -- Publishers Weekly

"The ending hits a perfect emotional note: bittersweet and honest, comforting and regretful." -- Kirkus

Praise for The Finishing School: "Suspenseful.... If your guilty-pleasure reads include elite boarding schools, secret societies, murder, and scandal, this one's for you." -- Kirkus

"The Finishing School pulls back the curtain to expose a fascinating world of desire, betrayal, and dangerous secrets." -- Lou Berney, Edgar Award-winning author of The Long and Faraway Gone

"The Finishing School plunges the reader headfirst into a fast-paced, nail-biting mystery that also manages to explore friendship, love, adolescence, family and motherhood. By the time you reach the unexpected ending, you'll practically be gasping for air." -- Jessica Anya Blau, author of The Trouble with Lexie
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Rating details

43,747 ratings
4.23 out of 5 stars
5 40% (17,706)
4 45% (19,493)
3 13% (5,609)
2 2% (724)
1 0% (215)
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