The Goat Lady's Daughter

Rosella Leslie

In an isolated cabin nestled in a small ocean inlet on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia, two eccentric sisters unexpectedly find themselves taking in an abandoned baby girl. Mag, the crusty, conniving older sister and the breadwinner of the family, sees the child as a burden, but Florrie, the more motherly of the two, welcomes baby Jen with open arms. As the sisters struggle to make a living from their remote inlet farm, Jen worms her way into their hearts. When the child starts school, she is suddenly faced with juggling her wilderness existence with the social demands of a modern, small-town life.  

This cobbled-together family is drawn closer together as they grapple with the rigours of living off the land and battle an unscrupulous logger and developer. They are helped by Sylvia, an amateur archeologist whose ideas on parenting clash with Mags, and by Billy, who runs a salvage boat called the Squawk Box. The family’s bonds are threatened by a tragedy that nearly overwhelms them.

“The climax of this story is a marvel of shrewd narrative structure and emotional restraint. Rosella Leslie keeps her pathos on a tight leash. The more she holds back, the more power she gives to readers to loosen their own knowledge of loss. You’ll need a hankie.”
—Jim Bartley, The Globe and Mail

An “affecting, gentle novel.”

“[The Goat Lady’s Daughter] has a page-turning quality that is difficult to resist.”
—Joe Wiebe, The Vancouver Sun