"A phenomenal, human story. . . . I could not put this book down." —CLARA HUGHES
An instant national bestseller, this raw and affecting memoir is the story of a mother and daughter who beat the odds together.
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 nation's 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.
PERDITA FELICIEN is an author, television host, sports broadcaster, two-time Olympian, ten-time National Champion, and the first Canadian woman to win a World Championship gold medal in track and field. During her career as a 100-metre hurdler, she earned numerous honours, including Canada's Athlete of the Year and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. Felicien retired from professional sports in 2013 and is now a broadcast journalist. She was part of CBC's broadcast team at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games, and was inducted into Athletics Canada's Hall of Fame. My Mother's Daughter is her first book.
AN INSTANT NATIONAL BESTSELLER
Shortlisted for the 2022 Rakuten Kobo Emerging Writer Prize
A CBC Best Canadian Nonfiction Book of 2021
"[A] beautifully written and compelling memoir." —Toronto Star
"So captivating is the story of Cathy Felicien Browne's life . . . that by the time her daughter Perdita runs her first sprint halfway through the book, you might have forgotten all about the fact that the author is former World Champion hurdler Perdita Felicien. . . . In this inspiring memoir, Felicien . . . recounts the despair and the triumphs like a champion." —The Globe and Mail
"Perdita Felicien takes on the ambitious feat of chronicling an intergenerational story of resilience and succeeds with unflinching clarity. Her controlled and poised prose details raw and often messy emotions with intelligence and compassion, while the fierce honesty with which she writes emphasizes the magnitude of maternal love and the bonds of family. A memoir with a commanding voice, My Mother’s Daughter is a love letter to mother-daughter relationships." —Zalika Reid-Benta, Giller Prize-nominated author of Frying Plantain
"We are not defined by when we fall; rather, it's the journey of where we come from that holds the deepest definition of self. Perdita Felicien is so much more than a champion athlete. This phenomenal, human story shows a Canada many people will never know, the power of a mother's love for her daughter, and the indefatigable resilience in the face of so much struggle. I could not put this book down." —Clara Hughes, six-time Olympic medalist and author of Open Heart, Open Mind
"A book about the most important team any of us plays on—our family—by one of the greatest athletes Canada has ever produced. Perdita Felicien reminds us that the accomplishments you see out on the track, field or rink are the result not just of talent and practice, but of someone's love." —Cathal Kelly, author of Boy Wonders
"Perdita Felicien first stole our hearts as a world champion, but now she takes us behind the scenes to the heartache of her tumultuous childhood and to the grit she needed to triumph over adversity. Her story is for everyone who dreams big. This book made me laugh and cry and cheer out loud. It's a winner—like Perdita herself." —Sally Armstrong, journalist