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My Mother's Daughter

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A raw and affecting memoir about a mother and daughter who beat the odds together. Perdita Felicien's story is woven into her mother's like an intricate braid. To understand Perdita's story, you must know Catherine's. From the beginning, Catherine was larger than life. At seventeen years old, she was determined and tenacious, and longing to experience a better life. But A raw and affecting memoir about a mother and daughter who beat the odds together. Perdita Felicien's story is woven into her mother's like an intricate braid. To understand Perdita's story, you must know Catherine's. From the beginning, Catherine was larger than life. At seventeen years old, she was determined and tenacious, and longing to experience a better life. But she was also pregnant with her second child, and just scraping by in St. Lucia by selling homemade jewellery on the beach. So when she met a wealthy white Canadian family vacationing on the island, she knew she'd found her chance. After babysitting the couple's infant son for two weeks, she asked them to bring her to Canada and employ her as a nanny. Somehow, they agreed. This was the beginning of Catherine's new life: a life of great opportunity, but also profound suffering. Within a few years, she would find herself pregnant a third time--this time in a new country, Canada, with no family supporting her, and this time, with Perdita. Together, in the years to come, they would experience poverty, racism, domestic abuse and even homelessness, but Catherine's will would always pull them through. As Perdita grew and began to discover her preternatural gifts--athleticism at what would one day prove to be an Olympic level--she was edged onward by her mother's love, grit and faith. Facing literal and figurative hurdles, she learned to leap, and pick herself back up when she stumbled. Beautifully written and deeply absorbing, Gold Mettle is a daughter's memoir--a book about the power of a parent's love to transform their child's life.


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A raw and affecting memoir about a mother and daughter who beat the odds together. Perdita Felicien's story is woven into her mother's like an intricate braid. To understand Perdita's story, you must know Catherine's. From the beginning, Catherine was larger than life. At seventeen years old, she was determined and tenacious, and longing to experience a better life. But A raw and affecting memoir about a mother and daughter who beat the odds together. Perdita Felicien's story is woven into her mother's like an intricate braid. To understand Perdita's story, you must know Catherine's. From the beginning, Catherine was larger than life. At seventeen years old, she was determined and tenacious, and longing to experience a better life. But she was also pregnant with her second child, and just scraping by in St. Lucia by selling homemade jewellery on the beach. So when she met a wealthy white Canadian family vacationing on the island, she knew she'd found her chance. After babysitting the couple's infant son for two weeks, she asked them to bring her to Canada and employ her as a nanny. Somehow, they agreed. This was the beginning of Catherine's new life: a life of great opportunity, but also profound suffering. Within a few years, she would find herself pregnant a third time--this time in a new country, Canada, with no family supporting her, and this time, with Perdita. Together, in the years to come, they would experience poverty, racism, domestic abuse and even homelessness, but Catherine's will would always pull them through. As Perdita grew and began to discover her preternatural gifts--athleticism at what would one day prove to be an Olympic level--she was edged onward by her mother's love, grit and faith. Facing literal and figurative hurdles, she learned to leap, and pick herself back up when she stumbled. Beautifully written and deeply absorbing, Gold Mettle is a daughter's memoir--a book about the power of a parent's love to transform their child's life.

30 review for My Mother's Daughter

  1. 5 out of 5

    Tyana M

    I didn’t know how much I needed this right now. I could not put this one down! I keep trying to sum up how much it made me feel only to delete my sentence because I just can’t find the right words.

  2. 4 out of 5

    ❀ Susan G

    Yesterday afternoon, my husband arrived home with this book from the library. Today, I reluctantly have closed the book but can't "put it down". This story has left me gobsmacked! I hope that others will read it as I need to process, share and discuss it. The book shares her mother's story, Perdita's story and their family story... the good, the bad and at times, the ugly. Her mother had to leave her oldest 2 children behind in St. Lucia, traveling to Canada for a better life, to work as a domest Yesterday afternoon, my husband arrived home with this book from the library. Today, I reluctantly have closed the book but can't "put it down". This story has left me gobsmacked! I hope that others will read it as I need to process, share and discuss it. The book shares her mother's story, Perdita's story and their family story... the good, the bad and at times, the ugly. Her mother had to leave her oldest 2 children behind in St. Lucia, traveling to Canada for a better life, to work as a domestic helper, sending money back to her family. In Canada, she found herself pregnant, then a single mother, struggling to make ends meet. Struggling to balance motherhood and work... ending up spending time in a woman's shelter which, with help of subsidized housing, changed their trajectory. with hard work, persistence and, at times, luck Perdita and her mom changed their lives for the better. Through it all, love and resilience guided Perdita. As they overcame hurdles in their family, it led her to becoming an Olympic hurdler. Many of us may remember her terrible crash at the Olympics but that did not define her and in reading this book, sharing her story, she will help others and lead them towards resilience and hope as they define themselves. I think ALL Canadian's should read this book!!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kristine

    My Mother's Daughter by Perdita Felicien is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in late March. A Canadian competitor in the 2004 Athens Olympics writes of her life with her mother, Cathy. Felicien being brought to Canada from Saint Lucia with her mother working hard, coming into sometimes fortuitous, sometimes dreadful events while serving as a nanny and housekeeper, and being raised and growing up through the 80s and 90s, doing extremely well in track & field, yet falling in and out of love with My Mother's Daughter by Perdita Felicien is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in late March. A Canadian competitor in the 2004 Athens Olympics writes of her life with her mother, Cathy. Felicien being brought to Canada from Saint Lucia with her mother working hard, coming into sometimes fortuitous, sometimes dreadful events while serving as a nanny and housekeeper, and being raised and growing up through the 80s and 90s, doing extremely well in track & field, yet falling in and out of love with it, Cathy going back to school, going to college on scholarship, and excelling through championships and into the Olympics - everything is well-detailed and recalled very keenly.

  4. 4 out of 5

    the.unexpected.reader

    As an avid Canadian sports follower, I know of Perdita Felicien, but I never knew her back story or family life. And after reading this book (and many other bios) I’m very much aware of the fact that the most talented of people come from very harsh or challenging backgrounds. And Perdita and her mother fall into this theory. This book is divided into 3 parts – Starting with Catherine’s life in St. Lucia and her brave move to Canada; the family’s unstable life and Perdita’s introduction into runn As an avid Canadian sports follower, I know of Perdita Felicien, but I never knew her back story or family life. And after reading this book (and many other bios) I’m very much aware of the fact that the most talented of people come from very harsh or challenging backgrounds. And Perdita and her mother fall into this theory. This book is divided into 3 parts – Starting with Catherine’s life in St. Lucia and her brave move to Canada; the family’s unstable life and Perdita’s introduction into running; and finally, Perdita’s move to Chicago and her ranks among the greatest hurdlers in college and Canadian history. Although, at first, this book is fascinating, it’s easy to imagine that their life was as stable as a 7.0 earthquake. At their lowest point, Catherine struggled to find stable employment to feed her growing family, and there were times where the children are witness to physical and mental abuse. After spending some time in a women’s shelter (this is was only a temporary solution), and with all options exhausted, the family is forced to leave the shelter and back into the arms of her on/off again partner. Part 3 is mostly Perdita's success on the track, but it's also the parallel between mother and daughter. All the hard work and determination of both women to raise themselves to their best selves. Perdita training and honing to reach international greatness, and Catherine at almost at the age of 40, simultaneously getting her high school diploma and Heath Care Aide certificate. Essentially, this is the incredible story of one woman’s move to a foreign country, raising her growing family while enduring racism and abuse. And by the end you see both Catherine and Perdita living a very different lives from when they first started. Wonderfully written and absorbing. Perfect as a buddy read with some best girl-friends, or mother figure. A big thanks to NetGalley and Double Day Canada for the inspiring read. 4 stars

  5. 4 out of 5

    Enid Wray

    This is a gritty, gut-wrenching, down in the trenches story of the power or one - of Perdita’s mom, of her incredible strength in the face of what would have been crushing adversity for so many… and the power of a mother’s love - her hopes and dreams for her children - and how having that one - sole, singular - person in your life can make all the difference. Perdita is who she is because of her Mom. Her Mom’s strength, even those parts her daughter perceived as weakness growing up - thinking pa This is a gritty, gut-wrenching, down in the trenches story of the power or one - of Perdita’s mom, of her incredible strength in the face of what would have been crushing adversity for so many… and the power of a mother’s love - her hopes and dreams for her children - and how having that one - sole, singular - person in your life can make all the difference. Perdita is who she is because of her Mom. Her Mom’s strength, even those parts her daughter perceived as weakness growing up - thinking particularly of her tendency/ability to ‘forgive people who had no right to forgiveness’ (p309) - informed her ability to, ultimately, forgive herself, to leave her sport on her own terms, and to understand that ‘(t)here’s no shame in a woman needing to ask for help... and choosing to rewrite her story’ (p319)... which they both have done, with incredible success. Perdita’s - and her Mom’s - experience shine a light on the resilience of the human spirit and our ability to overcome great adversity… and to understand (i) that it will get better, and (ii) that it’s okay to not be okay, at times.

  6. 4 out of 5

    smalltownbookmom

    Great memoir by World Champion and Olympic hurdler Perdita Felicien. This is truly both hers and her mother’s life stories. Born on the island of St Lucia, her mother Catherine worked hard and had two small children before she was able to leave for Canada working as a nanny for a white family in Toronto. Her life in Canada was not easy, especially when she got pregnant with Perdita and the father was not involved. She was fortunate enough to keep a job allowing her to give birth in Canada. There Great memoir by World Champion and Olympic hurdler Perdita Felicien. This is truly both hers and her mother’s life stories. Born on the island of St Lucia, her mother Catherine worked hard and had two small children before she was able to leave for Canada working as a nanny for a white family in Toronto. Her life in Canada was not easy, especially when she got pregnant with Perdita and the father was not involved. She was fortunate enough to keep a job allowing her to give birth in Canada. There were many ups and downs in Perdita’s young life - money was in short supply, they lived in a shelter for a while, her mom had rocky relationships and some other children, they had to go back to St. Lucia for a time before finally getting permanent residency years later. Despite all the hardships Perdita always remained close with her mother and was able to get an athletic scholarship in the States where her hurdling career really took off. She talks about the ups and downs of her professional sports career and how she managed to pivot when that time in her life came to an end. I enjoyed this book a lot - it’s great on audio read by Perdita herself and definitely one worth listening to. Two inspiring women full of grit and ambition that made their dreams happen. Favourite quote: “I came to believe that every single person is a hurdler, even if they don’t know it. While most aren’t sprinting over literal fences, everyone has something to overcome. Sometimes we fall in our attempts and that’s okay because there’s always a reason to pick yourself up and move forward.”

  7. 5 out of 5

    Eric andrew

    Thanks for sharing this review post with us. I am thinking of purching this book for my mother birthday gift. I have been working at https://flirtymania.plus/videochat-en.html and help the people with having a wonderful experience during online browsing time. Thanks for sharing this review post with us. I am thinking of purching this book for my mother birthday gift. I have been working at https://flirtymania.plus/videochat-en.html and help the people with having a wonderful experience during online browsing time.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    This is by far one of the best books I have read. The heartbreaking and heartwarming story of Pertida and her mother is inspiring. The connection between mother and daughter is so strong. I didn’t want to put this book down and I didn’t want it to end!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Lyla

    As a fan of elite sport, this was a must read and there are no disappointments. Felicien navigates a complicated personal and professional history with grace and candor, humor and pragmatism. Take this journey!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Trina

    I really enjoyed this memoir and love how she told her story largely through her mother's; they have an incredible bond and are both exceptionally strong, courageous women. I really enjoyed this memoir and love how she told her story largely through her mother's; they have an incredible bond and are both exceptionally strong, courageous women.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Peggy Young

    A beautiful written memoir of overcoming hardship to ultimately amazing success. I loved this book!!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Nat

    Could not put it down, incredible journey!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sayo

    I remember watching Perdita Felicien in the 2004 Summer Olympics, I remember knowing she was the favorite to win Gold, I remember what happened, and that was all I knew about her. I was quite surprised by how quickly I was taken by this book. The struggles of her mother as a young girl, coming to Canada, trying to build a better life for her children. I could not put it down. From the first page to the last I was a part of this family.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Janilyn Kocher

    Before reading this book, I have never heard of Perdita Felicien. Her memoir is a great story. She follows the strong women in her family to persevere over adversity. She details her mother’s move to Canada, tumultuous relationships, and her own career as a collegiate and professional athlete. I could feel,the adrenaline as she was ready to launch off the starting block. I experienced her most devastating disappointment right alongside her. Felicien is a testament to hard work, talent, and singl Before reading this book, I have never heard of Perdita Felicien. Her memoir is a great story. She follows the strong women in her family to persevere over adversity. She details her mother’s move to Canada, tumultuous relationships, and her own career as a collegiate and professional athlete. I could feel,the adrenaline as she was ready to launch off the starting block. I experienced her most devastating disappointment right alongside her. Felicien is a testament to hard work, talent, and single minded determination. It’s an inspiring read. Thanks to Edelweiss and Doubleday Canada for the advance copy.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Linda Smeding

  16. 5 out of 5

    Katherine Kasprzyk

  17. 5 out of 5

    Stacy Mccarthy

  18. 5 out of 5

    KHG

  19. 4 out of 5

    Emily

  20. 4 out of 5

    Joanne

  21. 4 out of 5

    Michelle McMillan

  22. 5 out of 5

    Nikky

  23. 5 out of 5

    Maureen Shewchuk

  24. 5 out of 5

    Elise

  25. 4 out of 5

    Shireen Ahmed

  26. 5 out of 5

    Alice

  27. 5 out of 5

    Elke Oppinger

  28. 4 out of 5

    Emmy

  29. 4 out of 5

    Margaret Boucher

  30. 4 out of 5

    Caitlin

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