Philomena meets The Orphan Train in this suspenseful, provocative novel filled with love, secrets, and deceitA??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 civilityA??much like Maggie HughesA?? parents. MaggieA??s English-speaking father has ambitions for his daughter that donA??t include marriage to the poor French boy on the next farm over. But MaggieA??s heart is captured by Gabriel PhA©nix. When she becomes pregnant at fifteen, her parents force her to give baby Elodie up for adoption and get her life A??back on trackA??.
Elodie is raised in QuebecA??s impoverished orphanage system. ItA??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 nunsA?? 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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