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One Book One Community 2019


Recurring Events

  • Home for Unwanted Girls Book Cover
  • One Book One Community Logo

One Book, One Community (OBOC) was created to promote reading to adults in Waterloo Region, to celebrate books and writing, to promote Canadian authors and books, and to build a sense of community through the shared experience of reading. Now in its 17th year, One Book, One Community continues to bring great Canadian books and authors to Waterloo Region.

Each year, the OBOC committee announces the title selection in April, promotes the book throughout the summer, and hosts free author events in September. Watch the Waterloo Region Record, a One Book sponsor, for notices of community events as they develop, or check the One Book, One Community website at

The Home for Unwanted Girls is the 2019 One Book, One Community selection.

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.

Maggie grows up in 1950s Quebec, her world divided between two languages and two cultures. When she has a baby outside of marriage, her parents force her to surrender her newborn daughter, Elodie, for adoption. They promise Elodie will be sent to a good home with a loving family.

Instead, Elodie and thousands of other orphans in Quebec are declared "mentally ill" and transferred into asylums. Maggie never forgets Elodie and once she gains her independence, she decides to fight for her lost daughter and finally reclaim the truth that has been denied them both.

The author of The Home for Unwanted Girls, Joanna Goodman, has written five novels, including the bestselling The Finishing School. The Home for Unwanted Girls was inspired by the story of Joanna's mother, who was the daughter of an Anglo "Seed Man" and a French-Canadian mother.

Goodman will visit Waterloo Region from September 25th – 27th, with the Cambridge meet-the-author event scheduled for Thursday, September 26th.

Mark your calendar and get involved:

  • Connect with us online.
  • Visit your local library.
  • Attend the OBOC events this fall.
  • Share your OBOC thoughts and connect with friends and family, co-workers and community members as you enjoy this compelling Canadian novel.

Once you’ve read this year’s selection, explore similar books or browse our list of past One Book, One Community books. Many are available in different formats including regular print, large print or audiobook. Enjoy, and remember – Waterloo Region reads!