Book Cover


Contemporary,1960s & '70s

Joy Lynn Goddard

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Lauren Prescott’s family secrets were buried long before she was born, during the sixties era when her great-grandparents took in a runaway girl from an Indian residential school. Haunted by the past, Lauren risks everything to go after the truth, even her life!



Short Summary

Longing to right a wrong, an ailing Albert enlists his granddaughter’s help to dig up family secrets that have long been buried under a willow tree by the quiet bay. Even he is shocked by what she uncovers about his sweet, devoted wife of fifty years.

When the search for his long-lost love hits a dead end, Albert comes face to face with their daughter whom he didn’t know existed until then. Ashamed of how he treated her mother, he now gets a chance to make things right with his daughter.


Eastern Ontario

Based on a True Story


Plot - Premise

Internal Journey/Rebirth,Quest,Other

Plot - Other Elements

Meaningful Message,Philosophical Questions,Twist,Other

Mature Audience Themes

Sexual Abuse, Language/Profanity

Main Character Details

Name: Lauren Prescott

Age: 22

Gender: Female

Role: Protagonist

Key Traits: Empathetic,Engaging,Aspiring,Faithful,Charming,Complex,Confident,Decisive,Secretive

Additional Character Details

Name: Albert Cowden

Age: 74

Gender: Male

Role: Protagonist

Key Traits: Decisive,Sarcastic,Skillful,Outspoken,Blunt,Masculine,Empathetic,Aggressive

Additional Character Details

Name: Charlie Cowden

Age: 46

Gender: Male

Role: antagonist

Key Traits: Badass,Aggressive,Charming,Complex,Masculine,Blunt,Sarcastic,Confident,Funny

Additional Character Details

Name: Jean Cowden

Age: 73

Gender: Female

Role: emotional

Key Traits: Charming,Clumsy,Criminal,Faithful,Obedient,Modest,Romantic,Naive,Insecure

Development Pitch

Moving back and forth between present-day and the sixties, Moonshadow, a novel, is a poignant story that highlights what life was like for children who attended Indian residential schools in Canada. With White and Indigenous perspectives, the wealth of subplots in the story's mystery and romance remains suspenseful throughout. The 5-star reviews such as these say it best: "Joy Goddard has crafted an important work of Canadian literature with global appeal;" "It has been some time that I've read a story I couldn't put down, that made me angry, that had me utter 'Wow' at the end of the chapters, and that brought me to tears. Moonshadow is that story;" "It should be prescribed reading in every school, not just in Canada;" "When it came to all the secrets, I was utterly blown away." I was compelled to write this story after the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada released their report in 2015, the media prolific with heartbreaking stories about Indian residential schools. A teacher in the regular school system--a product of a White middle-class upbringing--I had been living in a bubble of privilege and needed to step out to get another perspective. So after studying everything I could get my hands on about Indigenous issues, I wrote Moonshadow to share what I had learned. Joy Lynn Goddard

About The Author

Joy Lynn Goddard is one of Canada’s top novelists in the young adult genre. Inspired by her vast teaching experience, she has written five coming-of-age novels, a middle-grade novel, and a picture book. More recently, she writes a teen-teacher blog and has teamed up with her husband, Daniel Pike, to create contemporary adult fiction. Their first was Buyers, Liars, Sellers, and Yellers, which is an anthology of humorous short stories about the real estate industry. It was followed by Canada Book Award winner Moonshadow, a mystery and romance drawn from the tragic legacy of Indian Residential Schools. The Keepers is a murder mystery set in wine country, coming in the summer of 2021.

Target Audiences

Age: 18-34,35-54,55+

Target Gender: Universal,Female Leaning

Group Specific

Information not completed

Publishing Details

Status: Yes: self-published

Publisher: Joy Lynn Goddard

Year Published: 2019

Hard Copy Available