Book told for annual Greene County Reads

Author will participate in discussions

Greene County Reads, the annual county-wide book discussion, will be held Thursday, April 11. This year’s selection is The Home for Unwanted Girls by Joanna Goodman.

The story is of a young, unwed mother, Maggie, who is forced by her parents to giver her daughter up for adoption. The provocative novel tells of the lengths to which the mother and daughter go to meet each other.

The novel is based on how orphans were treated in Quebec in the early 1950s. Orphans were often declared mentally ill and sent to psychiatric hospitals because the government paid more to the Catholic Church to take care of wards of hospitals than it did for the care of orphans. Elodie, Maggie’s daughter, was one of the orphans whose education stopped when she was sent to a psychiatric hospital.

Author Joanna Goodman based The Home for Unwanted Girls in part on the story of her mother. Originally from Montreal, Goodman now lives in Toronto with her family, and is at work on her sixth novel, the follow up to The Home for Unwanted Girls.

All three discussions will be led by Jan Scharingson, retired East Greene high school English teacher. “This book will be a challenge for your beliefs about family dynamics, love and the strength to overcome the worst of obstacles. It will make you dig deep into your heart to find out just how much you can accept about another individual. Great discussions should evolve after reading it,” said Scharingson.

Author Joanna Goodman will be the special guest at the book discussions this year via Skype. The Greene County librarians invite everyone to read the book, attend one of the discussions on April 11 and come prepared with questions for the author. “To be able to read a book and then talk about it directly with the author is a great privilege,” said Shari Minnehan, director of the Churdan public library.

Anyone who would like to participate is encouraged to check out a copy of the book from any of the six public libraries in Greene County and then attend one of the book discussions on Thursday, April 11, at the place and time that is most convenient. Discussions will be held at the Churdan public library at 9 am, the Rippey public library at 2 pm, and Marchant Memorial Library in Scranton at 7 pm.

The annual book discussions are free and open to the public. They are a cooperative project of the Greene County libraries, made possible by funding support from the Greene County board of supervisors. Light refreshments will be served.

Persons who want more information can call their local library.

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