My Mother's Daughter

My Mother's Daughter: An Immigrant Family's Journey of Struggle, Grit and Triumph is a book by Perdita Felicien.

Perdita Felicien

Decades before Perdita Felicien became a World Champion hurdler running the biggest race of her life at the 2004 Olympics, she carried more than a nations hopes — she carried her mother Catherine's dreams.

In 1974, Catherine is determined and tenacious, but she's also pregnant with her second child and just scraping by in St. Lucia. When she meets a wealthy white Canadian family vacationing on the island, she knows it's her chance. They ask her to come to Canada to be their nanny — and she accepts.

This was the beginning of Catherine's new life: a life of opportunity, but also suffering. Within a few years, she would find herself pregnant a third time — this time in her new country with no family to support her, and this time, with Perdita. Together, in the years to come, mother and daughter would experience racism, domestic abuse, and even homelessness, but Catherine's will would always pull them through.

As Perdita grew and began to discover her preternatural athletic gifts, 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. This book is a daughter's memoir — a book about the power of a parent's love to transform their child's life. (From Penguin Random House Canada) 

Felicien was a 10-time national champion, a two-time Olympian and became the first Canadian woman to win a gold medal at a world championships. She now works as a sports broadcaster and is part of the CBC's team covering the Olympics. My Mother's Daughter is her first book.

Interviews with Perdita Felicien

'I never talked about it and I am now:' Perdita Felicien on growing up poor

CBC News London

2 years ago
Two-time Canadian World Champion Perdita Felicien opens up about growing up poor and why as an adult, she's found strength in her mother's wisdom. 5:44