Joanna Goodman




Praise for You Made Me Love You

You Made Me Love You is a wonderful novel, full of humour, wisdom, and hope.” 

Joy Fielding


“I love this novel. It has a wonderful, warm, true sensibility. I couldn’t put it down and was sorry when it ended.”

Eliza Clark


Praise for Harmony


“Joanna Goodman is such a fine, polished writer. Harmony is an honest heart-wrenching and complex look at the tangled emotions and lives of both mothers and wives.”

Michelle Berry


“Goodman’s solid writing is permeated with commentary on the societal pressures to have it all.”

Publishers Weekly


“Joanna Goodman writes with compassion about human connections.”

Patti Henry

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Harper US 2018

The Home for Unwanted Girls 


 Philomena meets Orphan Train 

In this triumphant love story, the lives of two young people are beset by conflicts of class and culture in 1950’s Quebec. 

Maggie is the daughter of Wellington Hughes, the “Anglo” who runs a seed business selling mostly to the French-Canadian farmers in the Eastern townships near Montreal. Her mother Hortense is a French- Canadian who refuses to speak English, but who shares her husband’s ambitions that her children should prosper in the higher status Anglo world. 

Gabriel Lafleur, the boy from the next farm, poor and orphaned, captures Maggie’s heart. When Maggie becomes pregnant at 15, either because of a rape or her love affair with Gabriel, she suffers the full tyranny inflicted by the regime and the Catholic Church. 

Her baby is taken from her and either sold by the nuns to an American family, or worse, placed in an institution and declared mentally impaired. The government paid more money for wards of hospitals than orphanages. (Based on shockingly true situations in Quebec in the 1950’s, the theft of her child is similar in the experience of Ireland’s Philomena Lee.) We follow Maggie’s desperate quest to find her daughter Elodie, and Elodie’s painful loss of the family she deserves. 

Joanna Goodman, whose grandfather was a seed man, draws on the conflicting allegiances of her own Quebecois family for this tale that is specific to its place and times and universal in its themes. The daughter of a French-Canadian mother and the wife of a French-Canadian man, Joanna is bi-lingual and multi-cultural. Occasionally, she wishes she were firmly rooted in only one identity. 


Joanna Goodman is the author of four acclaimed novels including The Finishing School (Harper) coming April 2017. She lives in Toronto with her two children and her husband where they operate upscale retail linen shops Au Lit.