Rosella Leslie, The Goat Lady's Daughter, NeWest Press, 2006
I've just wondered why this book is not called The Goat Ladies' Daughter, because both Mag & Florrie are mother to Jen, the abandoned baby they save and raise.
I am in the months of the year now which provide me the opportunity to read whole books in one day as I have a commute of 2 hours going to teach at Capilano U in North Vancouver, and 3 hours going home. This novel was consumed in one day of travelling.
It's a lovely story, well told, if a little bit predictable. What's fabulous about the book is that the sea and boats are so important to the story, along with Sechelt Inlet, Porpoise Bay and Salmon Inlet. The geography, the time it takes to go from place to place in a small boat, the things one has to be good at to make sure one's boat actually functions, these are all the context within which the story of Jen unfolds.
This story could be no where else really. Mag & Florrie live kind of early 20th century homestead based life which is unfolding in the later 20th century. They keep goats, and raise chickens which sustain them, and some of their customers who live in Sechelt. Mag gathers mushrooms, Florrie makes cheese.
Jen is a wee baby when Mag brings her back to the cabin, having rescued her and her mother who has become very ill. Florrie welcomes the child, and Mag takes her mother to the wharf in Sechelt, and gets the taxi operator to take her to the hospital. They never see her again.
You'll enjoy reading this novel. It's a story of how women care for each other and for children. And have a map of the Sunshine Coast at hand. Maybe take a weekend trip to the Coast, and bring the novel.