From the bestselling author of The Home for Unwanted Girls and The Forgotten Daughter comes a compulsively readable mother-daughter story in which two women who share a difficult past must come to together to claim the future they deserve.

Arden Moore enjoyed an affluent life thanks to her husband’s high-paying job. But a year after his death, the 36-year-old is a grieving single mother deeply in debt and living paycheck to paycheck with her three children. Then an unexpected call from a well-known estate lawyer in New York offers a glimmer of hope. It is the beginning of a complex legal journey that could mean the difference between a life of abject poverty and unthinkable wealth thanks to her father, deceased billionaire Wallace Barclay.

Thirty years before, Arden’s mother Virginia Bunt, a flirtatious love addict with a string of failed affairs, met Wallace, an encounter that transformed her life. When he died unexpectedly without a will, Virginia fought to secure a comfortable future for her and the secret unborn daughter she shared with Wallace. Yet despite her best efforts, society and the legal system prevented her from receiving the money that should rightfully have been hers. Now, though, with changes in the legal system and science, her daughter Arden may finally succeed in claiming the inheritance that has been long denied.

Told from both Arden and Virginia’s viewpoints, straddling past and present, and moving from Toronto to New York City, The Inheritance is a poignant portrait of familial bonds, haunting pasts, the collateral damage of life choices, and the promise of hopeful futures as two venerable women fight for the life they deserve.

About the author(s)

Joanna Goodman is the author of the bestselling novels The Forgotten Daughter, The Home for Unwanted Girls,and The Finishing School. Originally from Montreal, she now lives in Toronto with her husband and two children.


“In this captivating story layered with love, suspense, grief, and redemption, Goodman once again creates intriguing characters that will immediately draw readers in.” — Booklist on The Forgotten Daughter

“Resonant and relevant. . . . The characters, complex and flawed, love and fight so fiercely that it’s hard not to be drawn into their passionate orbits and to feel, even slightly, a glimmer of hope as they refuse to give up on the ideal of happiness.” — Kirkus on The Forgotten Daughter

"A heart-wrenching saga of love and loss that's not to be missed." — Toronto Star on The Home for Unwanted Girls

"Goodman’s novel delves into the toxicity of inheritance and the way it can obsess and destroy one’s sense of self and path in the world. She looks at the myriads of ways the women in the Bunt family hold themselves back, by focusing on appearance, by becoming love addicts, by denying abuse. Their struggle is cringey, complicated and a beautiful thing to behold. Goodman’s women are impossible not to feel empathy and cheer for. An excellent, compulsively readable work." — Heather O’Neill, author of When We Lost Our Heads

"Wise, immersive and full of the fierce vulnerability that links women together, The Inheritance reminded me of a Meg Wolitzer novel. With immediately engaging characters and a multilayered story that is, at its core, an ode to the deep complexities of being female and the powerful ties of family in all its forms, this is an unforgettable novel from a genuine talent." — Marissa Stapley, New York Times bestselling author of Lucky

"The focus of this absorbing story remains on Arden and Virginia’s personal journeys of loss and hope. Hand this one to readers who enjoy stories of relatable women finding strength and their places in the world." — Booklist

"Thought-provoking." — Washington Post