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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.

47 review for My Mother's Daughter

  1. 5 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 4 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.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Linda Smeding

  6. 4 out of 5

    Katherine

  7. 5 out of 5

    Nikky

  8. 4 out of 5

    Maureen Shewchuk

  9. 4 out of 5

    Shireen Ahmed

  10. 4 out of 5

    Alice

  11. 4 out of 5

    Elke Oppinger

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kelly McCrory

  13. 5 out of 5

    Margaret

  14. 5 out of 5

    Morgan Campbell

  15. 4 out of 5

    Perdita Felicien

  16. 4 out of 5

    Taylor’s Titles

  17. 4 out of 5

    Loan Stars

  18. 5 out of 5

    Treva Campbell

  19. 4 out of 5

    Deb

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

  21. 4 out of 5

    Amy S.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Pamela Verardi Knutson

  23. 5 out of 5

    jennet wheatstonelllsl

  24. 4 out of 5

    Monique

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

  26. 4 out of 5

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    Heather Williams

  29. 4 out of 5

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  30. 4 out of 5

    Kyrsten Benoit

  31. 5 out of 5

    Brittney Banks

  32. 5 out of 5

    Alyson

  33. 4 out of 5

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  34. 4 out of 5

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  35. 5 out of 5

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  37. 4 out of 5

    Bookworm Adventure Girl

  38. 5 out of 5

    Shawna

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    Christin Lynn

  40. 5 out of 5

    Alanna King

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    Jeff

  43. 4 out of 5

    Lisi Tesher

  44. 5 out of 5

    Pamela

  45. 5 out of 5

    Choolio

  46. 5 out of 5

    Megan Thompson

  47. 5 out of 5

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